The feasts for Saint Stephen Proto-Martyr (26 December), Saint John the Evangelist The Disciple Whom Jesus Loved (27 December), and the Feast of the Holy Innocents (28 December) seem untouched by any liturgical reforms. These are very powerful feasts—I believe they once possessed octaves—and I believe they could sometimes “overpower” a Sunday feast. The rules for octaves in the olden days are extremely complex. These feasts are sometimes referred to as a single entity as: Comites Christi (“Companions of Christ”). This is just a guess, but there seems to be a triple significance: STEPHEN martyred after Christ lived, JOHN was a martyr who knew Christ personally, and the HOLY INNOCENTS were martyred before Christ’s birth.
31 December 2020 • “COMITES CHRISTI”
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