December 31 

Saint of the day:
Saint Pope Sylvester I

Patron Saint of Feroleto Antico, Italy, Nonantola, Italy and Sylvestrine, Benedictines orders

On the 7th Day of Christmas....
Seven swans a-swimming represented the sevenfold gifts of the Holy Spirit:

Wisdom, Understanding, Counsel, Fortitude, Knowledge, Piety, and Fear of the Lord.

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Saint Pope Sylvester I's Story
Resurrected a bull and is a patron of domestic animals.

Sylvester I (also Silvester, died 31 December 335) was the bishop of Rome from 31 January 314 until his death. He filled the see of Rome at an important era in the history of the Western Church, yet very little is known of him. The accounts of his pontificate preserved in the seventh- or eighth-century Liber Pontificalis contain little more than a record of the gifts said to have been conferred on the church by Constantine I, although it does say that he was the son of a Roman named Rufinus. His feast is celebrated as Saint Sylvester's Day in Western Christianity on 31 December, while Eastern Christianity commemorates it on 2 January.

Sicilian fables, recounts the legend as follows: Constantine the king wants to take a second wife, and asks Sylvester. Sylvester denies him permission, calling on heaven as witness; Constantine threatens him, and Sylvester, rather than give in, escapes into the woods. Not long after, Constantine falls ill; when he is desperate of ever regaining his health he has a dream which commands him to send for Sylvester. He obeys, and Sylvester receives Constantine's messengers in his cave and swiftly baptizes them, whereafter (having shown them several miracles) he is led back to Constantine, whom he baptizes also, and cures. In this story, Constantine and his entourage are not pagans but Jews.

Legend has it:
St. Sylvester suggested that the whole question of faith should be disputed before a collective audience of Jews and Christians, and the topics for discussion included paganism, God, Christ and the Ten Commandments. A leading rabbi named Zambri volunteered to perform a miracle as proof of his faith's superiority: he approached an ox and whispered "Jehovah" in its ear. The ox dropped dead. St. Sylvester responded by whispering "Christ" in the ox's ear, and the ox was restored to life.








Basilica di San Silvestro in Capite

(Basilica San Silvestro in Capite)

Piazza di S.Silvestro, 17A, 00187 Roma RM, Italy