Madonna In Glory, Botticelli, 1470
Merry Christmas to all.
The bible doesn't tell us what day Christ was born. In 337 A.D., Pope St. Julius I directed that Dec. 25 be the day on which we celebrate the birth of Jesus, and so it has been ever since - more or less. There have been several Christian sects, the Puritans noteworthy among them, who have, at time, refused to celebrate Christmas because of the lack of biblical foundation.
But for the rest of Christianity, Dec. 25 has served as the day to celebrate Jesus's birth. In medieval times, December 25 marked the first of 12 days of celebration - the 12 days of Christmas, culminating on January 6, with the Epiphany. You'll find much more on the origins of Christmas customs here.
On the eve of Christmas, the Pope celebrates a mass that is now broadcast around the world. His homily this year urged us to find time for God in our lives, as well as a defense of the Church against the ever more aggressive attacks from the atheist left:
You can find his entire homily here. Amen, and again, Merry Christmas to you and yours.
. . . While there is no denying a certain misuse of religion in history, yet it is not true that denial of God would lead to peace. If God's light is extinguished, man's divine dignity is also extinguished. Then the human creature would cease to be God's image, to which we must pay honour in every person, in the weak, in the stranger, in the poor. Then we would no longer all be brothers and sisters, children of the one Father, who belong to one another on account of that one Father. The kind of arrogant violence that then arises, the way man then despises and tramples upon man: we saw this in all its cruelty in the last century. Only if God's light shines over man and within him, only if every single person is desired, known and loved by God is his dignity inviolable, however wretched his situation may be. On this Holy Night, God himself became man; as Isaiah prophesied, the child born here is "Emmanuel", God with us (Is 7:14). . . .