Thursday, November 26, 2015

Giving THANKS!

This week we were discussing the history of the Thanksgiving Holiday as we celebrate it in the United States. One interesting thing we discovered is that the U.S History each of us learned was quite different. In fact one of our sisters had almost no teaching of any "religious" roots in the founding of many of the original colonies. Due to this we thought it might be of interest to give a (very) short history of some of our country's Thanksgiving celebrations.
Many of us in America think of our "first thanksgiving" as being the one celebrated by the pilgrims in Plymouth in 1621. (This feast lasted 3 days and was attended by 53 Pilgrims and 90 Native Americans.) 

What we may not realize is that the traditions of having" thanksgivings" -days of prayer to thank God for the blessings of ending droughts, granting military victories or the more common custom of thanking God for blessings of the harvest were actually recorded in many areas much earlier. We list just a few for those who might enjoy a bit of history. 

At the time when "British America" included not only the American colonies but parts of Canadian territory, there was a celebration of a thanksgiving feast at Frosbisher Bay in 1578. This is considered to be the first thanksgiving on Anglo American soil and provides the basis for today's Canadian Thanksgiving Holiday. 

Celebrations in the territory now considered to be the United States occurred in Spanish territory in the 16th century, and were routine in Virginia with Jamestown holding one in 1610 and by charter holding "that there shall be yearly and perpetually kept holy a day of thanksgiving to Almighty God." 

The First National Proclamation of Thanksgiving was given by the Continental Congress in 1777. In 1789 President George Washington proclaimed and created the first Thanksgiving Day designated by the national government of the United States of America.

We thank God for his blessings and that he will continue to pour out his blessings on us. We leave you with the words of George Washington:
Whereas it is the duty of all Nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey his will, to be grateful for his benefits, and humbly to implore his protection and favor, and whereas both Houses of Congress have by their joint Committee requested me "to recommend to the People of the United States a day of public thanksgiving and prayer to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many signal favors of Almighty God especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to establish a form of government for their safety and happiness." Now therefore I do recommend and assign Thursday the 26th day of November next to be devoted by the People of these States to the service of that great and glorious Being, who is the beneficent Author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be. That we may then all unite in rendering unto Him our sincere and humble thanks, for His kind care and protection of the People of this Country previous to their becoming a Nation, for the signal and manifold mercies, and the favorable interposition's of His providence, which we experienced in the course and conclusion of the late war, for the great degree of tranquility, union, and plenty, which we have since enjoyed, for the peaceable and rational manner, in which we have been enabled to establish constitutions of government for our safety and happiness, and particularly the national One now lately instituted, for the civil and religious liberty with which we are blessed; and the means we have of acquiring and diffusing useful knowledge; and in general for all the great and various favors which He hath been pleased to confer upon us. And also that we may then unite in most humbly offering our prayers and supplications to the great Lord and Ruler of Nations and beseech Him to pardon our national and other transgressions, to enable us all, whether in public or private stations, to perform our several and relative duties properly and punctually, to render our national government a blessing to all the people, by constantly being a Government of wise, just, and constitutional laws, discreetly and faithfully executed and obeyed, to protect and guide all Sovereigns and Nations (especially such as have shown kindness unto us) and to bless them with good government, peace, and concord. To promote the knowledge and practice of true religion and virtue, and the increase of science among them and us, and generally to grant unto all Mankind such a degree of temporal prosperity as He alone knows to be best. Given under my hand at the City of New York the third day of October in the year of our Lord 1789.
Many thanks to: 
The Poor Clare Sisters of Spokane
Franciscan Monastery of Saint Clare
4419 N Hawthorne St
Spokane, WA 99205, USA

The word Eucharist comes from the Greek word for Thanks. The original and only perfect Thanksgiving Meal is the Holy Eucharist. (The Holy Thanksgiving)

America is one out of many nations that celebrates a Thanksgiving Day. The Catholic Church celebrates it in every nation on earth every day, everywhere Holy Mass is celebrated. You are all invited to this Holy Meal to give thanks to Jesus for His Holy Sacrifice at that meal. Malachi prophesied it in the Old Testament. My Name will be great among the Gentiles for a perfect sacrifice will be offered in
My Name from the rising of the son til the going down there of. Every minute of every hour, of every day, that Holy Thanksgiving sacrifice is offered for all mankind. Don't miss out being there on this special day of Thanksgiving.

Happy and Holy Thanksgiving to all of you!

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