To-day, at Prime for the 24th of December in the Year of Our Lord Two Thousand and Nine, was read the Martyrology for to-morrow, the 25th of December (I imitate the seventeenth Century style):
...since the Creation of the World, when (in the Beginning) GOD created the Heaven and the Earth; and from the Flood, the Two Thousand Nine Hundred and Fiftieth Year; from the Birth of Abraham, the Two Thousand and Fifteenth; from Moses, and the Exodus of the people of Israel from Egypt, the One Thousand, Five Hundred and Tenth; from the anointment of David as King, the One Thousand, Three Hundred and Second; in the Sixty-Fifth Week, according to the Prophecy of Daniel; in the One Hundred and Ninety-Fourth Olympiad; in the Seven Hundred and Fifty-Second Year from the Building of the City of Rome; in the Forty-Second Year of the Emperor Octavian Augustus, all the World composed at Peace, in the Sixth Age of the World, JESUS CHRIST, Eternal GOD and eternal SON of the FATHER, desiring to consecrate the World by His most devout Advent, and nine months having pass'd since His Conception,
in Bethlehem of Judæa was born of the Virgin Mary, being made Man.
The Nativity of Our Lord JESUS CHRIST according to the Flesh.
This holy day is marked by four commemorations of Christ's beloved servants, His saints: St Anastasia, Virgin and Martyr, who together with two hundred men and seventy women suffered many and varied torments under the Emperor Diocletian; St Peter Nolasco, Confessor, Founder of the Order of Our Lady of Mercy for the Redemption of Christians held captive by the Moors and Saracens; St Eugenia, Virgin and Martyr, who was put to death by the sword at Rome in the reign of the Emperor Gallienus; and most notable of all, a great company of the shining army of martyrs praising God:
At Nicomedia, the Passion of many thousands of Martyrs, who, when they were come together for Mass upon the Nativity of CHRIST, Diocletian the Emperor ordered the doors of the Church closed, and a Fire prepared all about, and a tripod with Incense set before the doors, and with a great voice to cry a Proclamation that whosoever would wish to flee the Conflagration, should come out the doors and offer Incense to Jove; and when all with one voice replied that they most willingly would die for CHRIST, as Incense were they consumed with Fire, and thus on that very Day they deserv'd to be born in Heaven, upon which CHRIST once deigned to be born for the salvation of the World.