The Tree of Christ

After the Nativity scene, the Christmas tree is the most significant symbol of the Christmas season – especially in times past, when the commercial aspect of Christmas was not as aggressive.

The inventor of the Christmas tree was Saint Boniface, the apostle and evangelist of Germany.

In 723 Saint Boniface felled an enormous oak dedicated to the god Thor, near the present-day city of Fritzlar.

He cut it down in order to convince the people and the Druids that it was not a sacred tree.

This episode is considered the formal beginning of the Christianization of Germany.

As it fell, the oak destroyed everything around it, except for a small pine tree.

According to tradition, Saint Boniface interpreted this fact as a miracle.

Since it was the season of Advent and he was preaching about Christmas, he said:

“From now on, we will call this pine tree, the tree of the Child Jesus.”

Thus began in Germany the custom, which remains to this day, of planting small pine trees to celebrate the birth of Jesus.

And in the nineteenth century, the Christmas tree – also known in some European countries as the “Tree of Christ” – spread throughout the world as a symbol of Christmas joy in celebrating the birth of the Divine Child.

(Source: The Guide of Catholic Curiosities by Evaristo Eduardo de Miranda)

 

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