clomiphene pills around pretoria prednisone side effects in 6 day dose is levaquin effective against stds xn--b1afpdqbb8d.xn--p1ai prescribed cytotec pill and monohydrate antibiotics tab.dapoxetine sun pharma terbinafine 250 mg tab for yeast infection m.virat in ap ki adalat.dailymotion pamelor 10mg enxaqueca hot sweats buspar change from bystolic to coreg le glucophage fait il grossir how much does levaquin cost without insurance buy zithromax use atorvastatin sales can i take zofran while pregnant diflucan sale neurontin side effects vivid dreams how to take metronidazole flagyl to treat stds voltaren gel online levofloxacina canino how oftrn can one take tadalafil ciprofloxacin.for gout will it hur to take propecia with lortab how to buy online mifepristone and misoprostol india acyclovir 800 mg tablet usage cipro lu code male erection dysfunction store dublin california thuoc augmentin bid 1000mg femara 2.5 mg novartis what is bactrim single strength dosage lynoral is a contraseptive pills zyvoxid 2mg fiyati diflucan 50 mg indications tadalafil max doz nedir band name of the drug erythromycin oxime cytotec how long does it stay in your system mirtazapine 7.5 how long is it effective tac dung thuoc isoptin 120mg apa arti ciprofloxacin 500 mg can acyclovir pill be sweet coreg cr 80 mg price associations de zyrtec et augmentin voltaren price at walmart bactrim combate e.coli which helps best 800 ib or 7.5 meloxicam septra dosage for mastisis amitriptyline and wellbutrin and bedwetting etodolac 93 1118 clomid stops period proventil substitute side effects of prednisone 6 day 21 4mg tab pack mifepristone nd misoprostol cost in south africa medicamento plavix 75ml sildenafil citrate online canada 300mg over dose of seroquel 300 mg atorvastatin chewable tablets taste meloxicam vs celebrex kamagra jelly 100mg pineapple flavour thailand mechanism of action of ciprofloxacin albuterol nebulizer not helping tac dung cua thuoc glucophage xr 750 levitra 40 mg bactrim will it change coumadin levels premarin vaginal cream nostril why do kids take ondansetron oral solution viagra for sale in ireland can you take ibuprofen with amlodipine 10 mg obat suprabiotic tetracycline lamisil 250mg price in india glimepiride burping egg taste can diovan 80 mg be split can u take topamax and nuzak together clomid ovulation back cramps gabapentin tablet usesside effects dostinex price in usa clomid side effects cycle length venta de pastillas cytotec en caracas venezuela finasteride hair loss ebay wholesale kamagra uk dosis misoprostol para aborto 32 semanas arimidex vs nolvadex for men side effects withdrawal from prednisone cats flagyl time to work cialis online usa nizoral 10 mg antifungal shampoo mag kano ang cytotec buy ampicillin difference between matzim 180 mg. and diltiazem 180 mg. tetracycline como anticoncepcional apo clopidogrel 75 mg side effects ciprofloxacin buy online uk can you take clindamycin and zoloft femara 7.5 mg or 5mg taking flomax without food is misoprostol legal in south africa dostinex 50mg diarrhea after a cycle of valtrex zovirax 5 ointment 30gm price venta de cytotec en farmacias similares lexapro and buspar combination ebay clopidogrel pills atarax 10 mg pret zoloft 16 year old side effects of amoxicillin 500mg in pregnancy 10mg lexapro celexa aspirin or clopidogrel for stroke fluconazole time second dose safe to take prednisone and cialis theraflu with allegra drug interactions how long does clomid pregnancy stay before positive dexamethasone dosage uk harga obat clozapine generik cialis generic in usa informacion sobre la pastilla anafranil retard benicar 5 mg price does hydrochlorothiazide cause hair loss valtrex 42 st??ck mycoral ketoconazole untuk ibu hamil amoxicillin capsules i.p.250 price of imipramine 25 mg in south africa can you use lyrica and gabapentin together how many days of cipro to kill montezuma revenge cipro denk 500 side effects levaquin cost in kenya metronidazole gel is for what paxil 80 mg daily zyprexa brain zaps aus voltaren sr generic name etamox amoxicillin 125 gram generic lisinopril hydrochlorothiazide pill isotretinoin 40mg price monthly supply naproxen every 6 hours tamsulosin hcl 0.4 mg generic amoxicillin dosage for uti in women how to get isotretinoin without insurance nama suplier obat augmentin quetiapine nursing interventions montelukast chewable tablet is antibiotic feldene gel prices novidat ciprofloxacin hcl 500 why used this medcine how much amoxicillin should an 18 month old take hcpc metronidazole 500mg tab fosamax dosage cost fluconazole synthesis reaction hydrochlorothiazide generic manufacturers strattera 4 year old singulair 10 mg dosing 8 follicles on clomid should i do the iui amlodipine tablets 5mg 10mg will allegra dry up breast milk famvir valtrex best for cold sores sobredosis de bactrim pastillas lasix furosemide 100 mg propecia feminization side effects doxycycline hair loss does finasteride increase testosterone avapro green box what is flagyl 200 mg used for taking cymbalta not working zovirax generic about urticaria hives sertraline 50 mg cialis professional pills bactrim ds dosing for mrsa allegra jarrett colts coplavix in english to greek translatipn is biotec ciprofloxacin safe during pregnancy composition and side effects of medicine cordarone 100 can you take phenergan for nausea from tylenol 3 cyproheptadine effet dangereux femara cost australia what is metformin 1000 mg used for doxepin 10 mg without insurance raspberry ketones and citalopram do metformin 750 makes u constipated wellbutrin xl and sal palmetto diflucan not working my yeast infection posologia para caes de flagyl side effects of prednisone 15 mg coreg conversion to iv ciprofloxacin 500 obat untuk apa ya taking antibiotics with out eating low doses of zyprexa colchicine buy no prescription zovirax vs valtrex amoxiclav antibiotic 875 mg how many days fake viagra made in india how much does paxil cost without insurance strattera drug classification pastile kamagra gold obat amoxicillin 500 untuk herpes mata coreg 6.25 and zoloft 50 mg harga danazol generik positive pregnancy result from bupropion hydrochloride lamisil tablets price usa cyproheptadine use in loss of libido celebrex 200mg vs naproxin 500mg can men take diflucan 150 mg azithromycin recommended dosage bactrim 500 dosage buy amoxicillin cats indian guys with erections prednisone 5 mg pack instructions much does propecia cost insurance how much is 100 mg trazodone worth como suspender wellbutrin can 1000 mg of azithromycin cure gonorrhea voltaren rapid 25 australia cymbalta recreational use dutasteride alopecia testimonianze directions for using ketoconazole dusting powder bupropion hcl sr 400mg weight loss citalopram 20 mg con alcohol synthroid hunger azithromycin in oket desogestrel 150 mg metoprolol succ er 50mg fungsi salep metronidazole mobic meloxicam tablets 7.5mg deta lab male enhance liquid cialis withdrawal of paroxetine er 37.5mg can you cut a 4 mg singulair in half can i take prilosec and antibiotics how long can a dog take fluconazole buy strattera online australia flagyl 200 syrup para que sirve debrox 200 mg celecoxib sandoz escitalopram same as effexor doxycycline for cats liquid levaquin antibiotic levofloxacinshow what levofloxacin can i take rice and banana whiles takking misoprostol claritin allegra mix azithromycin side effects high fever famvir annual sales how much albuterol for 2 tamsulosin mnemonic voltaren emugel 60 mg preis is biotech ciprofloxacin safe for pregnant women seroquel 100 mg harga obat fluconazole generik efeito colateral do voltaren retard 100 mg kamagra online uk paypal debrox 200 mg celecoxib dosis how much does mobic 15 milligrams go for on the streets ciprofloxacin 500 mg tablets alcohol estrace cream australia zyprexa ani kesilirse price of zovirax 200 in the u.s flagyl vaginal gel without a prescription can you smoke quetiapine fumarate to get high plavix product information australia long term lexapro dependency can paroxetine 20 mg get you high doxycycline and microgestin what is the nursing intervention for glimepiride how long after diflucan will i be nauseous can i use clotrimazole when taking doxycycline albuterol hfa without alcohol how to write albuterol nebulizer prescription montelukast anlami ne buy fluoxetine over the counter lexapro generic zoloft IMAJJI.COM can i buy amlodipine besilate uk can you take cold eeze with paxil valsartan 80 mg side effects can you buy zovirax creeam over the counter viagra can you live without a prostate sinus infection 15 month old amoxilicillin dose levaquin taken with seroquel zyvox dosage iv cialis online us escitalopram 10 mg cost can you take solpadol tablets with amoxicillin buy neurontin online pharmacy metronidazole hinta bupropion 200 mg price buy online cytotec in india doxycycline mono misoprostol for dogs online price lexapro flagyl 500 mg liquid levofloxacin 500mg tab wockhardt used for strep baclofen 10 mg tabletas en mexico can you take tylenol with erythromycin cipritol 4 cyproheptadine para que sirve la glucophage xr good side effects of wellbutrin how many dose of flagyl can i use for pile flagyl tablet tampon para q sirve kamagra gel oral amoxicillin clavulanate kidny pain leg pain ciprofloxacin for cat uti taking melatonin and citalopram uk can you kis tramadol and rizatriptan fungsi amoxicillin trihydrate azithromycin actavis 500 mg e alcool what is biotech ciprofloxacin for ketoconazalecetirizineamoxicillin obat untuk apa where in edmond ok can i buy doxycycline for my dog tab atarax 25mg mrp amitriptyline side effects 10mg nhs citalopram sickle cell can you snort trazodone 150 mg onset zyprexa im levofloxacin hemihydrate jenis obat apa ciprofloxacin hcl 500 mg tab or doxycycline 100mg konjac root and coumadin buy olanzapine 2.5 mg no prescription can clomid build muscle generic levitra online no prescription neurontin antidepressant what is the shelf life of cialis harga obat captopril 12 5 mg accutane uk cvs cialis coupon terbinafine odpowiednik polski misoprostol walgreens price wyeth canada premarin cream cost nexium 40 mg dosage instructions generic strattera available can you take tramadol with cymbalta and abilify inderal revolution diltiazem cream cost safe to use metronidazole with gabapentin can ciprofloxacin and flagy affect sperm lisinopril dosage for dogs nursing inmplications for administering furosemide amlodipine price walmart chewable online amoxicillin pills metronidazole gel while pregnant 32 weeks diflucan one dose pill amoxicillin for cats can i give 500 mg human meds cytotec en xela cardurate drug 10 mg paxil dakimysin antibiotic dogs clomid serophene price sa effect of grapefruit and mirtazapine SUNNYDUVET.COM metformina tab 500mg precio venezuela lexapro and milk thistle is it safe to take 2 neurontin 300 mg zyprexa 10 mg im can u get high off of mirtazapine 45 mg of snort them the side effects of viagra 80mg propranolol for migraines side effects of cipro antibiotics mayo clinic on generic form of cymbalta clomid 50mg twice a day coumadin clinic chattanooga tn doxycycline monohydrate maximum daily dose how long does 40 mg of propranolol stay in your urine propranolol ratiopharm 40 mg cosa serve amoxicillin 875 for swollen lymph nodes mild pcos clomid and injection 15dpo bfn viagra for guys without ed will gabapentin help sciatic nerve does hair grow back after stopping synthroid carvedilol precio mexico celias viagra zithromax azithromycin 500 mg 2 comp valtrex dosage for adult hand foot mouth treatment what is clopidogrel 75 mg zyprexa olanzapine 10 mg wellbutrin svt buy nolvadex astrazeneca philippines cipro for uti price reviews duloxetine hcl dr 30 mg cap bupropion 150 xl augmentin posologia

The Real Meaning of "The Twelve Days of Christmas"

Much more than a haunting melody with nonsensical lyrics, "The Twelve Days of Christmas" was written by the English Jesuits during the 16th century as a catechetical device.
by Father Edward T. Dowling, S. J | Source:
I’m sure you have all heard the Christmas carol, “The Twelve Days of Christmas,” with its haunting melody. The carol dates back to the 16th century and its precise author is unknown. It has generally been assumed to consist of twelve nonsense verses built around a pretty melody. But in a fascinating article in Our Sunday Visitor (12/20/92), Fr. Gilhooley, a chaplain at St. Mary’s College, informs us that the carol was written by the English Jesuits of the 16th century as a catechetical device and it is far from filled with nonsensical verses.

The carol is akin to the apocalyptic literature of Scripture that used obscure symbols to hide its true meaning from the enemy in time of persecution. To understand the background that gave rise to the carol, let us look briefly at the history of Catholicism in 16th century England.

When Henry VIII was rebuffed by Rome in his bid to divorce Catherine of Aragon to marry Anne Boleyn, he declared himself head of the Church in England replacing the Pope and demanded that all swear an oath of allegiance to him as such. St. Thomas More, the Chancellor of the Realm, the equivalent of the Prime Minister today, refused the oath supporting the elimination of the Pope’s authority and Henry had him publicly beheaded. Catholic convents and monasteries were closed and looted. The situation was worse under his son, Edward VI, and better during the short reign of Catherine’s daughter, Mary Tudor. She was succeeded by her half-sister Elizabeth I, an ardent Protestant, the daughter of Anne Boleyn. The practice of the Catholic faith was banned. Priests were exiled and forbidden under pain of death from returning or performing the sacraments. It was a desperate, dreadful time.

But many priests risked their lives to come back and minister to the flock and many lay Catholics likewise risked their lives and fortunes to hear Mass and have their children baptized. Wealthy families built hiding places, called priests’ holes, in their homes to hide priests in case their homes were raided by the secret police.

The story is told of one priest who was almost caught in a surprise raid. He had just time to squeeze into his hole before the police broke in on the family. The police had obviously received a tip because they went right to the fireplace where the priest’s hole was located. But try as they might, they couldn’t find the entrance. Then in their frustration they ordered a fire to be lit to drive out the priest. When he didn’t emerge, because to do so would subject the host family to prison or death, they ordered more logs on the fire. Eventually all were driven from the room by the intense heat and the police left in disgust. The family rushed to get the priest out of the hole but he was already dead, baked alive. He gave his life under cruel circumstances to save those whom he had come to serve. And he was only one of many.

With this as a background we can see the need for secrecy and deception. “The Twelve Days of Christmas” was written to educate the faithful in the doctrines of the faith and yet not be obvious to the persecutors. The numbers are simply a mnemonic to help Catholics remember some basic facts. Recall the words of the song. “On the twelfth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me: twelve lords a leaping, eleven pipers piping, ten ladies dancing, nine drummers drumming, eight maids a milking, seven swans a swimming, six geese a laying, five golden rings, four calling birds, three French hens, two turtle doves, and a partridge in a pear tree.”

“The Twelve Days of Christmas” celebrates the official Christmas season which starts liturgically on Christmas Day and ends twelve days later on the Feast of the Epiphany. “My true love” refers to God, “me” is the individual Catholic. The “twelve lords a leaping” are the twelve basic beliefs of the Catholic Church as outlined in the Apostles Creed. The “eleven pipers piping” are the eleven Apostles who remained faithful after the treachery of Judas. The “ten ladies dancing” are the Ten Commandments. The “nine drummers drumming” are the nine choirs of angels which in those days of class distinction were thought important. The “eight maids a milking” are the Eight Beatitudes. The “seven swans a swimming” are the Seven Sacraments. The “six geese a laying” are the Six Commandments of the Church or the six days of creation. The “five golden rings” are the first five books of the Old Testament called the Torah which are generally considered the most sacred and important of all the Old Testament. The “four calling birds” are the Four Gospels. The “three French hens” are the Three Persons in God or the three gifts of the Wise Men. The “two turtle doves” represent the two natures in Jesus: human and divine or the two Testaments, Old and New. The “partridge” is the piece de resistance, Jesus himself, and the “pear tree” is the Cross.

Father Edward Dowling is the author of Have You Heard the Good News: Cycle A available through St Pauls –

Reprinted with permission by the publisher. All rights reserved.

Click Here to Donate Now!

Join the new media evangelization. Your tax-deductible gift allows to build a culture of life in our nation and throughout the world. Please help us promote the Church's new evangelization by donating to right now. God bless you for your generosity.




Post a Comment
Published by: Kiwi-Ian
Date: 2013-05-14 22:19:47
I too have heard this origin before and read the responses from Snopes and Urban Legends and various other sources. Essentially, there is no written evidence as to the meaning of this song prior to Hugh McKellar's article in 1979 and Fra Hal Stockert's in 1995. Neither writer provides any real evidence. The song was first published in 1780 with slightly different lyrics (e.g. collie birds in stead of calling birds and it was a partridge AND a pear tree). As for the protestant persecution of catholics, that is unworthy and any historian would find holes. Two British kings in the 17th century were catholic (Charles II and James II) and their father Charles I was married to a Catholic who practised openly. Indeed it was Pope Pius V who banned Catholics worshipping openly in a protestant country in his Bull Regnans in Excelcis of 1570. It wasn't until the late 17th century that most of the laws banning Catholicism came into effect, well after Bloody Mary's death in 1558. The Anglican and Catholic catechisms are practically identical so there was actually no need for a secret one, Catholics could openly use the Anglican one. The story of secret police burning out a priest actually happened in Bohemia, except that the police were Catholic and the priest was a protestant (Hussite) minister! Let's be real, this song is no hidden catechism, it's a counting song for kids.

Published by:
Date: 2013-03-20 22:28:14
As an answer to Dallas Smith: I have read the article wrote by Snopes, and it seems to me it has no documental foundation to his theory. It is true that the article has a lot of historic references about the history of Catholics in England during the worst times of represion, but none about the origins of the song. The only reference he quote regarding the origins of the song is from a Jesuit that claims that he has found the origins of the song while he made a research about other thing in the archives of his congregation. And this article was written by a Jesuit as well. Therefore, maybe the theory of Snopes about the origins of the song might not be that accurate ;) Blessings to all!

Published by: Dallas Smith
Date: 2013-03-06 17:04:17
This is an interesting story but according to Snopes it is not true. Check it out for yourself.

Published by: Mary Darby
Date: 2010-12-15 22:10:11
I've been a Catholic all my life and I never knew the tradition behind this song until now. It's beautiful!!!!

Published by: This article is wonderful, this will help me sing the song with more zeal.
Date: 2010-12-10 13:16:09

Published by: Laurie Bruns
Date: 2010-12-08 19:30:21
I found this extremely interesting as I had no idea this song had real meaning. Thanks so much for having this on the world wide web. There are so many good things to share ~ I wish our media here in the US would figure that out and breathe LIFE versus DEATH and CHAOS.

Write a comment on this article

Email required (will not be published)
required Country

Most Popular