Hospital Sisters of the Third Order Regular of St. Francis

Christmas 2020!

Puer natus est nobis, et filius datus est nobis: cuius imperium super humerum eius: et vocabitur nomen eius, magni consilii Angelus.

Sister M. Margarete Ulager, Our General Superior, wrote in her circular letter for Christmas: Puer Natus Est Nobis, a child is born to us, is the Gregorian introitus of the "Missa in die" of the first day of Christmas. By its very nature of prayer and proclamation, this late medieval hymn has been sung at Christmas since the 14th century. The text of the antiphon is taken from the book of Isaiah (Is 9:5).

From time immemorial, people have impressively expressed their deep faith: In art, architecture, music and painting, to mention a few examples. All this represents the trembling of the human heart being overwhelmed by the mystery of the birth of God, which makes it clear how incomprehensible it is, that God became man. 

When I saw this book painting from the Gisle Codex, I remembered an event that took place 30 years ago. While we were together in the convent on Christmas Eve, the Christmas Gospel was read once again at the end of the day. It became quiet among us and that Sister who had agreed to recite the Christmas message asked for a moment of patience. She had to get something from her room and came back with a big poster. She came into our midst and solemnly read the Gospel of Christmas Eve, the big poster in her hands. 

After a considerable time of silence, she said: "Dear Sisters, on this poster is written the Gospel of Christmas. I have cut out from our newspaper, from the headlines of the terrible news of an entire year, from the catastrophes and sad messages, words and letters, which together compose the Gospel of Christmas, because: God's almighty power is always greater than the power of men.

None of us could ever have guessed that in addition to the challenges of life, we have to face the sad situation of COVID 19

In our world, there are so many wars, conflicts, and people on their way as refugees, lonely, grieving and homeless people. In view of all this, it is very difficult for me to write a Christmas letter. 

Nevertheless, even though I often feel powerless to be able to do so little in concrete terms of suffer, the example of our Sister has encouraged me so much. She brought us closer to the mystery of the birth of Jesus, our redeemer, reminding us that God came into the world through the birth of his Son, "for the life of the world", because:  "A child is born for us; and a son is given to us; his scepter of power rest upon his shoulder, and his name will be called Messenger of great counsel. “(Entrance antiphone of the first day of Christmas (according to Is 9:5) The Nativity of the Lord)

Let us trust and strongly believe in the mystery of the sacred message of Christmas. 

Wish you a blessed Christmas and a happy and peaceful New Year 2021.