Friday, November 28, 2008

Something Catholic about Thanksgiving...

by Taylor Marshall... ht: & Eric Wilson
An interesting bit of trivia is that the first American Thanksgiving was actually celebrated on September 8, 1565 in St. Augustine, Florida. The Native Americans and Spanish settlers held a feast and the Holy Mass was offered.
A second similar "Thanksgiving" celebration occurred on American soil on April 30, 1598 in Texas when Don Juan de OƱate declared a day of Thanksgiving to be commemorated by the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.
The Catholic origins of Thanksgiving don't stop there. Squanto, the beloved hero of Thanksgiving, was the Native American man who mediated between the Puritan Pilgrims and the Native Americans. Squanto had been enslaved by the English but he was freed by Spanish Franciscans. Squanto thus received baptism and became a Catholic. So it was a baptized Catholic Native American who orchestrated what became known as Thanksgiving.
All that being said, Thanksgiving is traditional Protestant and marks the tradition of religious toleration (something in which the Puritan pilgrims did not actually believe - they set up a "theocracy").

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