A celebration of the archangel Michael and all angels (from the Greek angelos, “divine messenger”) mentioned in the Bible.
This festival celebrates the birth of the Virgin Mary, the mother of Jesus of Nazareth. In Eastern Orthodox churches she is known by the honorific of Theotokos.
This day recognizes the Cross as a symbol of Christ’s love for humankind and God’s victory over death. It also marks the finding of the Holy Cross by St. Helen after it had been stolen in the 7th century C.E. Orthodox churches begin their commemoration at sundown on the preceding day. In the Ethiopian Orthodox tradition, this day is known as Meskel and is marked on September 27th.
This day commemorates October 31, 1517 C.E., when Martin Luther nailed his Ninety-Five Theses to the door of the church in Wittenberg, Germany, eventually leading to the Protestant Reformation in Europe. Most Protestant Christian churches will mark this on Sunday, October 29th.
A celebration of the patron saint of animals and ecology and the founder of the Franciscan Roman Catholic religious order, known for its ethic of simplicity and service. Many Christians mark this festival by bringing their animal companions to churches for a blessing.
A commemoration of the lives of people, known and unknown, whose holiness and compassion toward others represent the best Christian virtues. In some Christian traditions, the following day is reserved for intercessions for the dead and is known as All Souls’ Day. Latino/a people in North and Central America mark these days in connection with celebrations of Día de los Muertos, the Day of the Dead.
This day commemorates the entrance of the three-year-old Virgin Mary into the temple at Jerusalem to receive an education and begin her life of absolute dedication to God. According to some apocryphal writings, Mary also entered the Temple’s Holy of Holies on this occasion, thus becoming the first and only woman ever to enter that sacred space.
A Roman Catholic holiday celebrating the belief that Mary, mother of Jesus, was preserved from original sin for her entire life.
Commemorating the appearance of the Virgin Mary near Mexico City in 1531 C.E. Juan Diego, a native American living during the Spanish conquest of Mexico, saw a vision of the Virgin Mary. He was told to build a church in her honor exactly where he stood, and in that spot the Basilica of Guadalupe was erected. Thousands of pilgrims from all over the world travel to that church every year and venerate the icon of the Virgin that is there, imprinted on Diego’s cloak; it is believed that Our Lady of Guadalupe can intercede with God so that faithful believers’ prayers can be answered, and miracles can occur. She is also the patron saint of Mexico.
A Latino/Latina Christian feast of the Lodgings, commemorating the journey of Mary and Joseph toward Bethlehem in preparation for the birth of Jesus. (through December 25)
Celebration of the birth of Jesus of Nazareth, observed by prayers, exchanging of gifts, and family parties.
Christianity Remembrance of St. Stephen, the first Christian martyr.
A day of solemn memory for the male children of Bethlehem killed by King Herod in an attempt to destroy Jesus.
Some Christians celebrate this day in honor of Jesus’ mother; others celebrate this day (eight days after Jesus’ birth) as the day when Jesus was presented at the Temple and officially named by his parents.