Christmas Stopped The War + A True Story
This article is about the True Spirit of Christmas, on December 7, 1914, the newly elected Pope Benedict XV asked for a truce to the fighting in recognition of the Birth of Christ, Christmas. Many scoffed at this request as ignorant and naive, yet the Pope of the Catholic/Christian Church did not resign from his request. The warring countries refused to create any official cease-fire, but on Christmas the soldiers in the trenches declared their own unofficial truce.
There are books detailing the letters of the Christmas Truce in WWI that chronicled the unheard of peace and joy that the soldiers felt on the battlefield when they embraced Christmas and the promise of God becoming man and Peace on Earth to men of good will.
One of the books is called "Silent Night" by the author Weintraub, there are multiple pictures,letters sent home with references of those who experienced the unthinkable, the Spirit of Christmas can stop a war, even World War I.In Weintraub's book on page 25, the British soldiers saw the Germans placing Christmas trees all along their trenches with candles and heard the German's shouting in English "We no shoot if you no shoot" (pg 25) The remarkable truth is, the gun fire stopped over the miles and miles of German trenches. This was followed by the Germans were actually coming out of the trenches toward the British and the British soldiers returned in kind and rose out of their trenches to meet them. This happened on Christmas Eve, the "enemies" laid down their arms to celebrate Christmas and the unthinkable happened, they exchanged chocolates and cigars and although the officers on both sides tried to stop the Christmas Peace with threats of court-martial or of being shot the men mixed together and sang Christmas Carols and laughter in the Name of Christmas, the Birth of Christ.
The book "Silent Night" reviewed the diaries of the German and British soldiers and their embracing the Christmas spirit, the officers on both sides deferred as the men went out in No Man's Land and exchanged Christmas wishes with their enemy officers. The dead were buried together, with both sides assisting and all the wounded were taken away that by Christmas morning there was an vast land the size of two football fields separating the British and German trenches. The opposing soldiers, again, emerged on Christmas morning and began singing Christmas carols, like the beloved "Silent Night" and sharing the Scripture, Psalm 23, together. These former combatants then engaged in playing games of soccer and football. The joy of Christmas ensued with the sharing of gifts and meals prepared in the open with both sides participating.
This Christmas miracle has been told by many and the above references were from the book "Silent Night" by Weintraub.
I do think it is curious that there is phenomena that many in the press is calling "The War on Christmas". Fox News and Catholic/Christian Bill O'Reilly has covered many stories of atheists who denounce the Christmas Story or the Spirit of Christmas. There are many who have actually attacked any signs of the American Federal Day as offensive. There are many stories of law suits and Grinch's from the courts to public servants who want to stop the Christmas Spirit and denounce the validity of the day that we celebrate God becoming man, Christmas.
This story of the Roman Catholic Pontif, Pope Benedict XV asking for a truce in the midst of World War I to celebrate Peace among men is truly inspiring. The Christmas Truce, a truly silent night.
I will post a link for reference to the history of the Christmas miracle of Christmas, 1914.