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Boston Catholic Journal - Critical Catholic Commentary in the Twilight of Reason

 

 

The First Thanksgiving in America

was This:
 

The Holy Eucharist the Body and Blood of our Savior Jesus Christ
 

The Most Holy Sacrifice of the Mass

Really!
 

Not This:

Turkey emblematic of Thanksgiving

 

The word Eucharist literally  means Thanksgiving” — it is the ecclesiastical Greek eukharistia or ‘thanksgiving’, from the Greek eukharistos for grateful”.

What most Americans do not know — even Catholics, given our impoverished catechesis since Vatican II — is that what we today celebrate as Thanksgiving in America was in fact the first Holy Sacrifice of the Mass in the newly discovered America in Saint Augustine, Florida on September 8, 1565. Noted Historian and Scholar, Dr. Michael Gannon (d. 2017), describes it as follows:

“When the first Spanish settlers landed in what is now St. Augustine on September 8, 1565, to build a settlement, their first act was to hold a religious service to thank God for the safe arrival of the Spanish fleet … After the Mass, Father Francisco Lopez, the Chaplain of the Spanish ships and the first pastor of St. Augustine, stipulated that the natives from the Timucua tribe be fed along with the Spanish settlers, including Don Pedro Menendez de Aviles, the leader of the expedition. It was the very first Thanksgiving and the first Thanksgiving meal in the United States.” https://aleteia.org/2016/11/22/the-first-thanksgiving-in-america-was-a-catholic-mass/ 

 

This was 55 years before the Protestant Pilgrims arrived in Plymouth, Massachusetts, and gave their Thanksgiving to God together with the Wampanoag Indians.

 

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Comments? Write us:  editor@boston-catholic-journal.com

Geoffrey K. Mondello
Editor
Boston Catholic Journal

 


 

Boston Catholic Journal

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Scio opera tua ... quia modicum habes virtutem, et servasti verbum Meum, nec non negasti Nomen Meum 
I know your works ... that you have but little power, and yet you have kept My word, and have not denied My Name. (Apocalypse 3.8)

 

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