Pope Saint Sylvester’s Israeli Connection

Pope Saint Sylvester I

Pope Saint Sylvester I (Reigned: January 31, 314 AD – December 31, 335 AD)

The old saying “You learn something new everyday” is certainly the truth. While waiting on line for my latte, the two older ladies in front of me started a conversation with the proprietor/barista about New Year’s Day.

The proprietor is from Israel so the ladies asked him how to say Happy New Year in Hebrew. He said that it is “shanah tovah”, however that is only said on Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year. He did say, and this is what I found interesting, that the secular New Year in Israel is called Sylvester.

And the reason for that you might ask? Well, it’s named after Pope Saint Sylvester I (Reigned: January 31, 314 AD – December 31, 335 AD), whose feast day we celebrate on December 31.

It is believed that under Saint Sylvester’s 21 year papacy, Christianity grew considerably. He was the Pope during Emperor Constantine’s converting of the Roman Empire to Christianity. So you see you can & should learn something new everyday.

Happy New Year!

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