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If one were to call it the metropolis of all feasts, one wouldn't be wrong. For if Christ hadn't been born according to the flesh, he wouldn't have been baptized, which is Epiphany. He wouldn't have sent the Spirit, which is Pentecost.

So from this event, as from some spring, different rivers flow - these feasts of ours are born. Philogonius, delivered December 20, AD 386] In a subsequent homily that same year while still in Antioch, St.

He suffered in the thirty-third year, eight days before the Kalends of April (that is, March 25), the day of preparation [that is, Friday] the eighteenth year of Tiberius Caesar, while Rufus and Roubellion were Consuls." [Hippolytus of Rome, Commentary on Daniel, written ca.

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This work is an illuminated calendar produced by an artist named Furius Dionysius Filocalus for a wealthy Roman patrician.

As part of this calendar, there is a list entitled "ITEM DEPOSITIO MARTIRVM".

In his treatise On the Trinity, Saint Augustine of Hippo writes: For He is believed to have been conceived on the 25th of March, upon which day also He suffered; so the womb of the Virgin, in which He was conceived, where no one of mortals was begotten, corresponds to the new grave in which He was buried, wherein was never man laid, neither before nor since.

But He was born, according to tradition, upon December the 25th.

Many in the east had celebrated the Nativity on January 6 -- which would later be recognized as the feast of the Epiphany.

Saint John Chrysostom, later bishop of Constantinople but at this point a presbyter in Antioch, offers a meditation on preparing for the Nativity in his homily on the feast of St. Note that John clearly separates the Nativity from the feast of the Epiphany: A feast is approaching which is the most solemn and awe-inspiring of all feasts. In this feast the Epiphany, holy Pascha, the Ascension and Pentecost have their beginning and their purpose.

The records seem to have existed into the 5th century when they were lost after the Goths and Vandals pillaged Rome.

The dating of Christmas to December 25 seems to have been well established in Africa by about this time as well.

It is lawful for anyone to search these ancient records, publicly deposited at Rome, and there to learn the time of this enrollment.” [John Chrysostom, In Diem Natalem, Migne: Patrologia Graeca, 49, 353-354.

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