Today is the third day of the twelve days of Christmas. Recently I had the pleasure of listening to a local Baylor professor, Michael Foley, lecture on the topic of the Twelve Days of Christmas. He was invited to speak to my Moms group and the Women's society at our church by a friend of mine. He was brilliant and we all thoroughly enjoyed it. I was enlightened and walked away with many new ways to celebrate not only Christ birth but ways to celebrate all the way to Epiphany.
That being said today is the Third day of Christmas and we honor St. John the Evangelist, the Beloved Disciple feast day. A good way to celebrate today is to make St. John's wine. Below is the prayer and recipe for St. John's wine from the Catholic Cookbook, by William Kaufman.
St. John's Wine
1 quart red wine
3 whole cloves
1/16 teaspoon ground cardamom
2 two-inch cinnamon sticks
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 cup sugar
Pour the wine into a large saucepan. Add the remaining ingredients. Boil for 5 minutes. Serve hot. 8-10 servings.
Let us pray. Deign to bless and to consecrate with Thy right hand, O Lord God, this cup of wine and of whatever drink; and grant that all who believe in Thee and who drink from this cup may be blessed and protected through the merits of Saint John the Apostle and Evangelist. And just as blessed John drank poison from a cup and remained completely unharmed, so too may all who on this day in honor of the blessed John drink from this cup be freed by his merits from every malady of poison and from all harmful things whatsoever; and, offering themselves up in body and soul, may they be delivered from every fault. Through Christ our Lord.
Bless, O Lord, this created drink, that it may be a salutary remedy for all who consume it: and grant through the invocation of Thy Holy Name that whoever tastes of it may, by your leave, receive as much health of the soul as of the body. Through Christ our Lord.
And may the blessing of Almighty God, Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, descend upon this created wine and whatever drink, and remain forever.
Later that night, the wine is poured into everyone's glass before dinner. The father then takes his glass, touches it to the mother's and says, "I drink to you the love of St. John," to which the mother replies, "I thank you for the love of St. John." Both take a sip before the mother turns to the oldest child and repeats the ritual, at which point the child turns to the next oldest, etc. The last one to receive St. John's love gives it back to the father, thus closing the family circle.
Happy Third Day of Christmas everyone!