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Catholic Activity: Boxing Day — St. Stephen

In describing the custom of Boxing Day in England for the feast of St. Stephen, the first Martyr (December 26), we should practice corporal works of mercy for the poor, in imitation of St. Stephen.

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As the days of Advent brought God to man, the twelve days between Christmas and Epiphany were said to bring man to God. On the feast of St. Stephan, King Wenceslaus gives us the golden example of charity. By feeding the poor we feed Christ and come closer to Him. In Yorkshire the farmers' wives made large goose pies which were cut on St. Stephan's Day and given to the poor. This day was commonly known as Boxing Day in England — a day on which the earthen banks or boxes of apprentices were filled with money gifts. The piggy bank is a direct descendant of these clay savings boxes.

Activity Source: Cooking for Christ by Florence Berger, National Catholic Rural Life Conference, 4625 Beaver Avenue, Des Moines, IA 50310, 1949, 1999

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