Each December 25, we celebrate Christmas Day. On this day we remember the birth of Jesus Christ, Our Lord and Savior. With the humble shepherds, we behold His glory, the glory of the Prince of Peace, the Word made Flesh (cf. John 1:14). We join in the song of the angels, “Glory to God in the highest!” (cf. Luke 2:14). He came to us as our Savior, Redeemer, and Friend to bring us eternal life. But we don’t have to remember Christ’s birth just once a year! Each time we pray the Joyful Mysteries of the Rosary, we call to mind the Birth of Christ (the Third Joyful Mystery).
“Silent night! Holy night!
Son of God, Love’s pure light
Radiant beams from Thy Holy Face,
With the dawn of redeeming grace,
Jesus, Lord at Thy birth,
Jesus, Lord at Thy birth.”
(3rd verse of the beloved Christmas hymn “Silent Night”)
“Bethlehem! The city where Jesus was born in fulfillment of the Scriptures, in Hebrew means ‘house of bread.’ It was there that the Messiah was to be born, the One who would say of himself: ‘I am the bread of life’ (Jn. 6:35, 48). In Bethlehem was born the One who, under the sign of broken bread, would leave us the memorial of his Pasch. On this Holy Night, adoration of the Child Jesus becomes Eucharistic adoration. We adore you, Lord, truly present in the Sacrament of the Altar, the living Bread which gives life to humanity. We acknowledge you as our one God, a little Child lying helpless in the manger!” (St. John Paul II).
“Whoever really takes [the Eucharist] as his daily bread, experiences each day the mystery of Christmas, the Word made flesh” (St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross)
It is easy to get caught up in the superficial elements of Christmas—decorations, food, parties, presents—and forget the true meaning of Christmas. It is important to spend time in prayer during the Christmas season. Praying special Christmas prayers is one way you can “keep Christ in Christmas.”
All three of these Christmas prayers were written by saints: St. Augustine, St. Bernard, and Pope St. John XXIII. They will help you praise the Lord for His goodness in coming to us as a helpless Infant over 2000 years ago. We hope that these Christmas prayers will become a holiday tradition for you!
Nativity Prayer by St. Augustine of Hippo (354-440 A.D.)
Let the just rejoice,
for their Justifier is born.
Let the sick and infirm rejoice,
for their Savior is born.
Let the captives rejoice,
for their Redeemer is born.
Let slaves rejoice,
for their Master is born.
Let free men rejoice,
for their Liberator is born.
Let all Christians rejoice,
for Jesus Christ is born.
Nativity Prayer of St. Bernard of Clairvaux (1090-1153)
Let Your goodness, Lord, appear to us, that we,
made in your image, conform ourselves to it.
In our own strength
we cannot imitate Your majesty, power, and wonder,
nor is it fitting for us to try.
But Your mercy reaches from the heavens
through the clouds to the earth below.
You have come to us as a small Child,
but you have brought us the greatest of all gifts,
the gift of eternal love
Caress us with Your tiny hands,
embrace us with Your tiny arms
and pierce our hearts with Your soft, sweet cries.
Christmas Prayer of Pope St. John XXIII (1881-1963)
O sweet Child of Bethlehem,
grant that we may share with all our hearts
in this profound mystery of Christmas.
Put into the hearts of men and women this peace
for which they sometimes seek so desperately
and which You alone can give to them.
Help them to know one another better,
and to live as brothers and sisters,
children of the same Father.
Reveal to them also your beauty, holiness, and purity.
Awaken in their hearts
love and gratitude for Your infinite goodness.
Join them all together in your love.
And give us Your heavenly peace. Amen.