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December 23, 1943     The Saguache Crescent
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December 23, 1943
 

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THE SAGUACHE CRESCENT i i iii it | ill [Crib Traditional Christmas | Mark in Southern Europe | The Christmas Crib is as traditionally a part of Christmas in southern Europe as is the Christmas tree in the northern coun- tries. In France, it is the Creche---or Cradle; in Italy, the Prae- tape--or Manger; in Germany, grippe or Crib; in Czechoslovakia, Jeslicky, and in Spain, the Nacimiento--or Nativity Scene. From the earliest years of Christianity priests and religious leaders interpreted the Bible by literal representation of plays, tableaux, etc., because of the lack of books and widespread inabil- ity toread. However, the first Crib was set up in 1223 by St. Fran- cis Assisi. St. Francis received special per- mission from the Pope to erect his "Praesepe" in the village of Grec- io, near Assisi. This first Crib was an immediate sensation. Set up in a stable, it was complete with live animals, etc. Greccio became fa- mous for its Crib and miraculous cures were attributed to the proven- der of the animals. One of the most famous Cribs in the world was built by the Capuchin monks, the shrine of the Madonna dells Grazie, situated in a grotto and surrounded by galleries of Sar- dinian cork giving a mountainous effect. Wooden figures, carved by the noted artists Gaggini and Ma- ragliani, were arranged to move in procession to the Manger. Other celebrated Cribs include the one at Caserta, Italy, where the most fa- mous Bambino in the world is an- nually laid in the Manger amid tra- ditional pomp and solemnity, and the grippe at Oberammergau, where the figure of the Christ-Child has been a possession of'the Lange fam- ily for many generations. During the Renaissance the pre- sentation of the Crib. became in- creasingly elaborate. The figures were more realistic and richly dressed, the devotional shrines and processions becoming highly ornate pageants. Later, Naples was famed as the city of Cribs. Every church had its "Praesepe" and families erected evergreen shrines on the flat roof- tops of their dwellings, the back- ground being dominated by Vesu- vius and the beautiful starlit Neo- polita sky. Charmin9 Yule Lecjend Tells Story Of Viilacje's First Christmas Candle At Christmas, millions of little candles suddenly spring into being all over it seems--on Christmas trees, on so many of our Christmas cards, in the shop windows and in our homes. In these days of fluorescent and neon 1/ghting the candles often take on the form of a 25-watt bulb---never- theless, they definitely contribute just the right touch of reverence and gaiety to the holiday season. True, the custom of lighting candles in remembrance of the Star of Bethlehem claims deep religious significance. But Christmas has also come to be a children's festival, and wherever there are children there is legend we/ving. And there is a charming legend that long, long ago in Austria, there lived an old shoemaker in a little cottage on the edge of a village. Al- though this humble man had very lit- fie, whether for himself or to share with others, his goodness of heart was such that each evening he placed in his window a lighted eandle as a sign of welcome to weary travelers who might be asking shelter. War came to the village and fam- ine, yet the little light never wavered. Each night it took its place to send forth its beam as a message of cheer to forlorn wayfarers. It'was wintertime and the suffer- ing was acute. Great hardships came. Sons died in battle. Animals starved for want of grain. Yet always, some- how the old shoemaker suffered less than others. It was almost as though there were a splendid charm upon him. At last the peasants gathered together and said: "Surely there is something different about him that he is spared. What does he do that we do not do? Perhaps it is his little candle. Let us, too, place lights in our windows." And the day the peasants took counsel was the day before Christmas, and the first night the candles were set to burn in all the Windows was Christmas Eve. When morning came it was as though a miracle had happened. A soft mantle of snow eovered the village like a gentle blessing, but there was something more--a new air of peace and hope. And before the sun had east its first bright gleam on the spire of the village church there came a messenger riding to bring the great, glad news of peace. The church bells chimed and the people knelt in prayer and there was a feel- tag of Christmas glory such aS there had not been in many years. The peasants were awed. "It was the candles," they whispered. "They have guided the Christ Child to our doorsteps. We must never again fail to light candles on His Birthday." From such a long ago beginning this beautiful custom has become very dear to our hearts. So dear in fact that year after year we light our candles on Christmas Eve, and year after year, the holiday greeting cards we exchange with our friends and loved ones carry the proud motif of the Christmas candle. And this year the candles will still burn bright, their light sending forth hope and cheer for the peaceful world that soon must come. There are scores of other legends surrounding the widespread use of. candles at Christmas time--and all of them have a simple beauty which ppeals to children and adults alike. The stories are told in every lan. guage. d 'Yule' Is Ancient Word Yule, as another name r the hristmas season, is of great an- tiquity and its actual derivation is still a matter of dispute. Some philologists hold to the eory that the term is derived from the Anglo- Saxon "hweol" (wheel). They be- Lieve the wheel is related to the erroneous primitive conception of the circular path described by the mn during its annual journey around 1 earth Irish Light Candle to Guide Christ Child An old Irish legend tells that some- times on Christmas eve Mary and the Christ Child wander abroad seek- ing shelter. Fearful lest they might seek in vain, as they did in Bethle- hem long ago, a lighted candle is placed in every window to guide them to a place of refuge. These are left burning through the night, gleaming into the darkness, guid- ing any wanderer. tEbe Star IEhat Shone @'er 00getblehem First ChoiceintheService If you've ever noticed the top of ilI   pt  , Marine Officer's visor cap, 0rUr t a 1:p to tittles ou've seenonitsomethingyou won't find on any other cap worn In Uncle Sam's service--a neat Could It Have Been A Comet, a Group of Planets, or a Nova? By ELLIOTT PINE --- -...- oW Wl)en esus WaS born in efljlebem of uea in te baps of erod the king, bebolb ere came Wise men from the East to erusalem, Saring, albert iS be tat is born ing of the eW? or We ae seen his star in te east, anb are came to Worship im. Ibtn ereb the htng bah eara flJest ings, be Was traubleb, anb all trusalem With him. . . . . :tn trob, tnbtn e bah pribilp calleb lle WiSe men, inquirtb of them biligentlp Wat time e slav appeareb. . . . al!en ep ab earb the king, thep beparteb; anb Is, the tar, W[ic tbep saw in te east, Went before tem, till it Stoob abet tlje spot Where the poung cbilb WaS. lben tep saw tt star, tep re- joiceb With exceebing great op. --MateW 2:2-10 HE Star! Matthew calmly re- cords the appearance of this marvelous heavenly portent as a his- torical fact. For 1900 years many millions have believed that the ma- jestic and unimaginably beautiful herald of the Messiah actually shone over Bethlehem, casting a beam of effulgent glory on that sta- ble "where the young child was." It has seemed entirely fitting that the birthplace of Christ should be pointed out in so magnificent a man- ner. Few laymen ever thought of questioning the reality of that star, although nothing like it ever was known before or after the momen- tous event. But astronomers, being exact scientists, have tried to recon- cile the evangelist's words with the known facts on the nature and mo- tions of heavenly bodies. The other three Gospels, by the way, do not mention the star. In the 17th century, Johann Kep- ler, one of the greatest of the early astronomers, While calculating the orbits of the planets Jupiter, Saturn and Mars, extended his figures back to the time of Christ. He discovered that these three planets were in con- junction in the year 7 B. C., accord- ing to the calendar. Making al- lowance for the well known error in dating the year of Christ's birth, it was possible to call the year 7 of our era as actually the year in which Christ was born. Now if, as Kepler calculated, the three planets were very close together in that year, they would form a brilliant glow in the sky, during the month of December. So, Kepler reasoned, the conjunction of these planets was tlte Star of Bethlehem. In Sign of Pisces. This conjunction appears in the sign of Pisces, or the Fishes, every 800 years. Since the sign of Pisces had a special meaning to the Jews, it was entirely logical for the Magi to interpret an apparently new star within this sign as the long awaited messenger from heaven, and to start on the long journey. Kepler's theory satisfied pretty well until 1826, when Professor Ideler of Berlin pointed out that at no time are the three planets .in absolute con- junction so that they would appear as a single star, even to the naked eye. Another piece of evidence tending to east doubt on the Kepler theory was brought in by the geographers. They showed that there were no roads or trails through the mountain- ous regions that the wise men had to traverse on which they could keep the planets in sight for any length of time. So this attractive explana- tion gradually faded out. It will not be until early in the 25th century, however, that scientists can test the full possibilities of Kepler's conjec- ture. It is not entirely ruled out until this time comes. Perhaps a Comet. In the last century came .a new attempt to explain the Star. Prof. R. A. Proctor propounded the theory WAS IT A COMET?--Theory that the Star of Bethlehem might have been a comet was advanced in the 19th century. This photo, taken in 1940, shows Cunningham's Comet. that the mystic sign was really a comet. These celestial travelers of space, flaring up suddenly, moving across the sky often for days or weeks, and then disappearing, al- ways impressed the ancients as mighty portents. There are a few flaws in this the- ory, too, as several historians quick- ly declared. First, a comet was a fearful thing to all peoples of an- tiquity, a harbinger of evil to come, a warning of retribution for sin. The Magi, being learned in astrolo- gy, would know this, of course, and would not likely consider a comet an announcement of the Saviour's arrival. It is possible that these wise men did not follow the prevailing superstition. They might have called some comet his star It is object- ed, however, that any comet bright enough to attract the wise men's at- tention would be noted down in some secular history--Josephus, in partic- ular. There is no such confirma- tory account. The Nova Theory. Lately, a plausible and poetic the- ory has been presented. The Stay of Bethlehem may have been a "nova" or suddenly blazing star. For a brief time a nova may outshine every star in the sky. The most brilliant on record flared up in 1572. Another was observed by the afore- mentioned Kepler, and by Galileo, in 1604. Novae that can be seen by the human eye are rare. It is only since photography has been applied to astronomy that much is known about them. What causes the flam- ing phenomenon is not known, but possibly it is occasioned by the col- lision of two "dead" stars. The im- pact liberates the fiery interiors of the two bodies, and the seething gases swirl and shoot in a glorious display of light. The nova may burn for some time, but eventually it cools and fades, and generally dis- appears from sight. Seldom do they last more than a few days. So if a nova of extraordinary bril- liance did burst forth a few days or weeks before the birth of Christ, this could be the Star toward which the wise men hurried, so long ago. It must be remembered, however, that the nova, if such it was, actually had burned out long before the first Christmas eve, because most of the stars are so distant that light takes many years to travel from them to the earth. Only lately the Nova Her- culls has been seen, but its light has been traveling through space for 1300 years, at 186,000 miles a second. Learned Guesses. But these conjectures and scien- tific guesses are simply that-- guesses. No one knows just what the Christmas Star was, or how it directed the wise men from the east to the little town of Bethlehem. It may be that, since there were proph- ecies to guide the Magt to that vil- lage in Judea, the Star did not ex- actly point the way, as some fanci- ful legends have put it, but merely indicated to the wise men the glori- ous day was near at hand. The director of the Adler Plane- tarium in Chicago comments that no star could "stand still" in the heav- ens while the three Magi plodded wearily onward. It would swing with the other stars in the daily round, as the earth turns on its axis. And again, a star could not remain fixed over the stable on that night of nights, casting down a great broad beam of purest light. That is, no "natural" star could. It would move onward with the procession of the heavens, until it set below the horizon. A Miracle. But the world has believed in that Star for 19 centuries. Scientists do not deny that it could have been a miracle--that "Star of Wonder, Star of Hope" that shone over the crib of the Saviour. It is no more dif- ficult to believe that a star could send its beams dow on that sacred spot than that angels sang to the shepherds, "Glory to God in the highest." It is one more marvel among many marvels. From the Scriptures and from tra- dition it is known that the three wise men or Magi ("Magi" was the term for astrologer in the East) saw a great light in the sky, and took it for the Star that heralded the birth of the King of the Jews, who would deliver mankind from bondage. The three learned men, called kings by tradition, mounted their camels, and came together, one from Chaldea, one from Persia, and one from Ara- bia. Their names, according to Bede, were Kaspar, Melchior, and Bal- thasar. When they came to the stable in Bethlehem, they,oknelt in reverent wonder, like the simple shepherds gathered about the Babe, and of- fered their rich gifts of "gold, frank- incense and myrrh." Today, al- though scientific knowledge has ad- vanced a thousand-fold since the time of Christ, the mystery attached to all that sacred storyremains. The Star of Bethlehem is still a mystery to science. It will always remain so, for there is no way to recreate the physical conditions of that night, so long ago, and to in- vestigate the phenomena with pre- cise instruments. But millions of Christians will continue to believe that the glorious symbol of hope, the Star, shone over the little stable on that first Christmas, while celes- tial music floated over the countrp- side, and all the world was hushed in wonder. "X" of looped braid. There's a story back of that braided "X", and it goes back more than 150 years, to a time shortly after the U. S. Marines were first' organized. In those days of sailing ships, naval battles often ended in close hand-to-hand fighting, as the crew of one ship tried to board the oth- er-and Marines, of course, were in the thick of the fight. Some were in the boarding party, and some were posted in the rigging to fire down on the enemy. It was be- cause of those men firing from high on the masts that Marine of- ficers-whose uniforms from above resembled the enemy's -- fixed "X'S" on their hats. In other words, that braid meant to the Marines in the rigging, "X marks the spot--not to shoot atl" Since those days, the "X" on the cap has become a standard part of the Marines' uniform. Another piece of "standard equipment" you'll notice among Marines these dayswhether they're wearing dress uniform or combat dunga- rees-is the American cigarettes they carry with them wherever they go. In all those news pictures you've seen of Uncle Sam's fight- ing men, snapped as they are re- laxing while "off duty," you'll find that in most cases they will be smoking a cigarette. And what brand do they prefer? Well, actual sales records show that the favo- rite with men in the Marines--as in the Navy--is Camel. Likewise, according to the sales records, Camels are first choice with men in the Army. Fighting men who have come back from jungles, deserts, and mountains--wherever Uncle Sam's forces are stationed -- give one pretty good reason for this choice. They say that Camels stay fresh --that out in the jungles of Guadal- canal, for instance, the Camels they get are actually just as fresh- tasting and full-flavored as the trees they used to get back home. Of course, the millions of men in training camps here at home want their cigarettes just as much as soldiers. Your dealer now has Camels in special Christmas car- tons, gay and colorful--and he will be glad to wrap them for you for mailing.--Adv. USED CAR BARGAINS at the WEST'S only WHOLESALE USED CAR MARKET O to the Pblic 1941 Ford's, Chev's, PJym's from $795.00 1939 Buick's, Dodge, OId's from 95.0 19111 to 193 all make from 4950 EASIEST TERMS IN THE WORLD WRITE for Pdm tide-eddie 225 |. 2Oth Ave., Denver, Colo. When in Downtown Denver Stop and Save. Between Sheron and Grant St. on 20th Ave. -- Gust 2 blocks from Broad. way on 20th). THIS AD IS WORTH $2S ON ANY CAR Chameleon's Colors The chameleon, a lizard, cloe not take on the color of the objeci on which it rests, as many per. sons believe. Its color change,, depend on temperature, emotion, health, and other factors. CONSTIPATION SLOW YOU UP When bowels are sluggish and yon feel irritable, heedachy, do es millions do- chew FEEN-A-MINT, the modem chewing-gum laxative. Simply che FEEN-A-MINT before you go to bed, taking only in accordance with package directions--sleep without being dis- turbed. Next morning gentle, thorough relief, helping you feel swell again. Try FEEN-A-MINT. Tastes good, is handF and economicaL& generous family suppIF FEEN-A-MINT -o., 10 He's a Kiwi A nonflying officer of the ai forces is called a kiwi after th New Zealand wingless bird of that name. WE THREE KINGS OF ORIENT ARE--An lath century "presepio" by many authorities considered the finest example of this sort of art, presents the well-known Nativity scene. The perfection of the painted figures is remarkable. In the background, throngh the end of the gable, can be seen the miraculous Star. A CHRISTMAS CAROL There's a song in the air: There's a star in the sky! There's a mother's deep prayer And a baby's low cry' And the star rains its fire while the Beautiful sing, For the manger of Bethlehem cra- dles a king. In the light of that star Lies the ages impearled; And that song from afar Ela wet over the world. Every hearth is aflame, and the Beautiful sing In the homes of the nations that Jesus is King. We rejoice in the light, And we echo the song That comes down through the night From the heavenly throng. Ay! we shout to,the lovely evangel they bring, And we greet in his cradle ou Saviour and King: --JOSIAH GILBERT HOLLAND. And Your Strength and Energy Is Below Par It may be entmed by dorder e4 ldd- nay function that lmts polsonotm waste to accumulate. For truly many people feel tired, weak and miserable tiw kidneys fail to remove exeees acids and other waste matter from tb blood. You may troffer nagging baeka rheumatle pains, headaches, diBine|s, getting Up nights, leg pains, swdlin|. 8ometime8 frequent and scanty urina- tion with smarting and buentnz is an- other sign that something is wrong with thh kidneys or bladder. There should he no doubt that pro m_pt teatmt is wiser than neglect. Um Dean's Plll. It k better to rely on a medicine that has won countrywide ap- proval than on something lea favorably known. Dean's have been tried and Stat- ed many yearl Are St all dru stor- Get Dean's today. \