A Mayan and Catholic Easter Tradition?
  • francis
    Posts: 10,709
    Our newest innovation in the NO!

    How exciting! Corn God.

    “When they change the sheets, they wash them and they use that water as holy water.” According to the Maya way of thinking, Jesus is associated with the corn god.

    “We save a piece of the Corn and then we plant it and then it grows again…and that is like Jesus and his resurrection,” affirms Ratzan, who is known internationally as an expert guide to tourists visiting this lakeside community.


    https://www.nbcnews.com/news/latino/mayan-catholic-easter-tradition-yes-santiago-atitl-n-guatemala-n745176
    Thanked by 2tomjaw Lars
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 11,956
    It seems to me that in many places that were converted to Catholicism, paganism hasn't gone away. I suppose each has to decide whether the "converts" are more of one than the other. Sometimes it is hard to tell. It also seems true that the only culture that is defective and needs to be replaced is ours, or so I hear. At what point does inclusion become syncretism?
    Thanked by 2Lars MarkB
  • francis
    Posts: 10,709
    At what point does inclusion become syncretism?
    I would estimate at about 1969, give or take a year here or there.

    Syncretism (/ˈsɪŋkrəˌtɪzəm, ˈsɪn-/)[1] is the practice of combining different beliefs and various schools of thought. Syncretism involves the merging or assimilation of several originally discrete traditions, especially in the theology and mythology of religion, thus asserting an underlying unity and allowing for an inclusive approach to other faiths.
  • A priest once told me that in places in South America people make prayers before their saints' statues and if the prayers are not answered said statue is put outside in the rain.
  • francis
    Posts: 10,709
    Lol @MJO… holy cows and sacred elephants!
  • Liam
    Posts: 5,005
    "A priest once told me that in places in South America people make prayers before their saints' statues and if the prayers are not answered said statue is put outside in the rain."

    Heck, consider the widespread use of St Joseph statues in real estate sales in the USofA. E.g., https://www.amazon.com/Joseph-Statue-Selling-Prayer-Complete/dp/B08FBSC95N/
  • a_f_hawkins
    Posts: 3,411
    Putting the statue of a saint who has not satisfied your prayers outside in the rain was a common Irish practice I believe, or standing it on its head.
    As to syncretism, whence the title Pontifex maximus do you suppose?
  • francis
    Posts: 10,709
    @a_f_hawkins

    Please explain how the title aligns with syncretism.
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 11,956
    As ruler of Rome, Augustus had to lead by example. He re-established traditional social rules and religious rituals, sacrificing animals to Rome's gods. In 12 AD he made himself Pontifex Maximus, the chief priest of Rome and head of the Collegium Pontificum, the highest priests in the land.


    Originally, the title was tied to the chief priest of Jupiter then the emperors took it for themselves. Now the popes have the title.
    Thanked by 1madorganist
  • francis
    Posts: 10,709
    Source?
  • Francis,

    It's in the lore of the Byzantines.
    Thanked by 1francis
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 11,956
    Nah, it's history. Christianity has been built on the remnants of paganism from the time it moved west. Unless you are one of those who think Christ was actually born on Dec. 25th and that Easter dating is a calendar anniversary date for the resurrection. Titles such as Pontifex Maximus were definitely Latin and were not used in the East.
    Thanked by 1MarkS
  • stulte
    Posts: 355
    Unless you are one of those who think Christ was actually born on Dec. 25th


    He was.
    Thanked by 2madorganist tomjaw
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 11,956
    Actually, scholars believe September was a more likely date, based on weather patterns and conditions described in scripture. We will never know, of course, since what the early Christians didn't know or care about, they made up. One thing we can be sure of is that Saturnalia was held from Dec. 17-23 on the Julian calendar. Inculturation at its best, or worst? To further add to confusion, there is more than one Bethlehem.
  • WGS
    Posts: 299
    Stulte - Yes, we can surely "know" that, because we "know" that the Annunciation occurred on March 25!
    Thanked by 1tomjaw
  • francis
    Posts: 10,709
    Charles... What did you say your religion is? Biritual? Is there truly a “lore”?
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 11,956
    These dates and such were not of great importance to early Christians. They were more interested in staying alive than recording history. The ancients also had a far different approach to history in terms of what was important and what wasn't. Not that the Latins would make anything up - Donation of Constantine remember? Totally false and a self serving lie.

    I am Byzantine Catholic, Francis. But I don't believe everything the Latins come up with. Modern scholarship can and has proven them mistaken or flat out wrong on some of their history.
  • tomjaw
    Posts: 2,735
    @CharlesW
    You do know what St John Chrysostom wrote about Christmas.
    we have St John Chrysostom telling us, in his Homily for this Feast, that the Western Churches had, from the very commencement of Christianity, kept it on this day.
    more here, http://www.liturgialatina.org/lityear/christmas/christmas1.htm
    and https://earlychurchtexts.com/public/john_chrysostom_homily_in_diem_natalem_domini_nostri_jesu_christi.htm

    Other arguments here, https://taylormarshall.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/Gods-Birthday-Dec-18.pdf
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 11,956
    St. John came along 300-400 years after the fact. They celebrated, and still do, on Dec. 25th on the Julian calendar but there is no proof that Dec. 25th was the actual day he was born. We often wonder what sources Dennis the Little used when he set various dates since those sources no longer exist. There is just no real proof and Dec. 25th doesn't rise to the level of an article of faith. If any proof is found and it is on another date, it wouldn't bother me in the slightest. It might reorient Christmas shopping but that about all it would do. Taylor Marshall? Might as well quote the National Enquirer.

    Many assumptions are unproven. There is no historical record of a census decreed by Augustus.

    We have far more proof of the existence of St. Paul than we have for Christ.

    The sojourn in Egypt. No proof it happened.

    Other than a reference in Josephus, and many scholars doubt its authenticity, there are no records of the crucifixion, either.

    On and on. Many of these things we believe are on shaky ground when we try to definitively prove them.

    Now some would maintain that they know because Our Lady of Gitche Gumee told Edna of Pittsburg in an apparition...
    Thanked by 1PolskaPiano
  • tomjaw
    Posts: 2,735
    More quotes, Also Fulton Sheen suggests the annals of the celestial empire also give a close match.
    Pope Saint Telesphorus (reigned A.D. 126- 137) instituted the tradition of Midnight Mass on Christmas Eve.
    Theophilus (A.D. 115-181), Catholic bishop of Caesarea in Palestine: “We ought to celebrate the birthday of Our Lord on what day soever the 25th of December shall happen.”
    Saint Hippolytus (A.D. 170-240) wrote in passing that the birth of Christ occurred on December 25: "The First Advent of our Lord in the flesh occurred when He was born in Bethlehem, was December 25th

    We have no proof that it was not the 25th why doubt?
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 11,956
    It is that way with many events. No proof. I didn't say I categorically reject them, just take them with a grain of salt. Many of these "sources" were persecuted members of an illegal sect pushing their own narratives, not unlike many have done since.
  • a_f_hawkins
    Posts: 3,411
    Christians using different calendars don't agree on when December 25th is, it is of no importance. Mary and Joseph would have had no interest in the date on the Romans' calendar, it was of no importance. Nothing hinges on the date. We don;t know the date of the Crucifixion or Resurrection , and that doesn't bother us at all.
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 11,956
    The annals of the celestial empire date 1029 BC and the other dates are difficult to coordinate with any western dating for the birth of Christ. By the time Telesphorus, Theophilus and Hippolytus come along, Christ has been dead for over 100 years. I would like to see sources much closer to the fact and they just don't exist. I don't think Christ was well known outside the small area in which he operated.

    We don;t know the date of the Crucifixion or Resurrection , and that doesn't bother us at all.


    I think you are correct on this. It really doesn't matter.


  • We really take so much 'on faith'.
    There is no archaeological evidence for the crossing of the Red Sea with the Egyptians in pursuit.
    Likewise, the Jews were in Egypt as well-paid labour, not as slaves.
    Likewise, there is no archaeological evidence for the slaughter of the Innocents.
    Likewise, the amazing acts of some of the saints who are credited with raising people from the dead and other incredible acts.
    There is good reason that the Christian religion is called the 'Faith'.
    Thanked by 1CHGiffen
  • francis
    Posts: 10,709
    Well, the long and short of it is that there are only a few things that truly matter. Jesus came to redeem us, died and rose and did indeed redeem us, and told us to go and convert all the nations and to promote the Eucharist of His Body and Blood. See CREDO.

    If you want historical facts to build up your faith, your barking up the wrong religion.
  • stulte
    Posts: 355
    If you want historical facts to build up your faith, your barking up the wrong religion.


    Did CharlesW hack your account?
  • francis
    Posts: 10,709
    Well, I see what you are saying, stulte... I SHOULD have said historical dates...
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 11,956
    I think the faith argument is true. Trying to base your faith on history or archaeology is a dead end. As Jackson noted, the archaeological evidence either is not there or has not yet been found.
  • Jeffrey Quick
    Posts: 2,069
    there is no proof that Dec. 25th was the actual day he was born

    If we're using legal or scientific standards of proof, there's no "proof" for any of it, so let's just close this site up and go to the bar.
    I'm personally fond of Fr. Wolfe's argument that the Blessed Virgin most certainly knew the day her Son was born, and passed it on to the Apostles and early Church. As tomjaw notes, we have St John Chrysostom's testimony as to the antiquity of the date. There's no reason to litigate it here.
    Thanked by 1tomjaw
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 11,956
    You realize there was 300 years between the Blessed Virgin and St. John Chrysostom, I hope. No matter how much I admire him - I do and read his sermons - record keeping in those days was not up to current standards of proof.
  • PolskaPiano
    Posts: 255
    My first thought when I read the OP was "Now the Green Blade Rises." Scripture does talk of a grain that must die to give life. It's not a bad analogy at all.

    Now there are alarming items in the article- ie a Mayan idol that is paraded around. However, a critical reading of the article brings one to the conclusion that there are separate groups described in the article that are falsely being mashed together in one by the author. What I read is "Mayans" who are appropriating aspects of Christianity and Holy Week. It is probable that there are Christians who may allow some Mayan beliefs bleed into their Catholic faith, but a quote makes it clear, "“The Mayan tradition of Maximon has nothing to do with the Catholic Church,” he said. “The Church completely rejects this.” This distinction of which group doing the synchronism is an important one!
    The title is misleading at best.
    Thanked by 1ServiamScores
  • PolskaPiano
    Posts: 255
    Now if you want to discuss an interesting tradition, here's "Popcorn Jesus" as my Vietnamese priest fondly remembers!

    https://www.americamagazine.org/faith/2021/03/30/holy-week-vietnamese-new-orleans-traditions-popcorn-240342
  • francis
    Posts: 10,709
    so let's just close this site up and go to the bar.
    OK... who can meet me in Allentown or Quakertown? It's better discussed over corn liquor!
  • francis
    Posts: 10,709
    PolskaPiano

    Don’t fool yourself. It is far much worse and integrated than most know.
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 11,956
    Popcorn Jesus is a new one to me. I thought I had heard everything.
    Thanked by 1ServiamScores
  • francis
    Posts: 10,709
    Great article telling it like it is

    https://rorate-caeli.blogspot.com/2023/03/the-anti-liturgical-obsession-is.html

    UPDATE: only crickets sing to me thy wondering.