ASK THE LITURGIST (15) – The Birth of Christ at midnight

– Enrico Finotti

The hour of midnight as the hour of Christ’s birth is also indicated in some mystics. It’s true?

Some mystical testimonies, which declare the ‘midnight’ as the hour of the birth of the Savior, cannot be excluded.

Teresa Neumann. The vision of Christmas night always occurred for Teresa in real time, that is, around midnight on December 24th. “At about eleven o’clock Mary enters ecstasy. She rises to her knees and crosses her arms on her chest. At about midnight the divine child leaves the mother’s womb, which is immediately closed intact and uncontaminated; there are no pains either before or after …” The vision of the announcement to the shepherds of Christ’s birth began about half an hour after midnight (Paola Giovetta, Teresa Neumann, A great mystic of our time, pp 162-163). “Half an hour after midnight, after Teresa had witnessed the birth of the Redeemer, she saw herself transported to a hut that was twenty minutes from the stable and was on a hill. There eight shepherds had their night shelter ….” (See Aurelio Penna, Gli Angeli, 80).

Catherine Emmerick in her visions writes: “Joseph returned Mary to his refuge, because She told him that the birth of the divine Child would take place at midnight, since nine months were fulfilled by the Annunciation of the Archangel Gabriel … At midnight Mary was kidnapped in ecstasy ….”

Medjugorje in the message of December 23, 1981: The Christmas Mass has to be celebrated at midnight and not in the evening.

Also the well-known Renè Laurentin in The Gospels of Christmas (Piemme, p 180), states: “The contrast between the night of the shepherds and the light of glory has contributed, with the star of Matthew, to celebrate Christmas with night vigils, and midnight mass (which modern laziness often anticipates), and to fix the party at the winter solstice.”

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