Saints of Christmas: Sylvester I


Born in Rome, he passed through the terrible Diocletian persecutions, winning acclaim among Christians of the time for his behavior during that time. He was made Pope two years in to Constantine's reign, and thus was the first pope to rule after the church emerged from the catacombs. It was he who established the Lateran church as the cathedral of Rome. Though he didn't attend himself, through legates he participated in the Councils of Arles and Nice, respectively, repudiating the Donatist and Arian heresies. According to Alban Butler,
St. Sylvester greatly advanced religion by a punctual discharge of all the duties of his exalted station during the space of twenty-one years and eleven months; and died on the 31st of December 335.
From Poland comes the wonderful "Sylvester's Punch," for which our weather is presently too hot but folks out West in need of some warmth in their veins might like it. When it's cold, I usually make it for Christmas Eve (had to go with Lemon Drops & Bloody Marys this year). The recipe's adapted from here.

2 oranges, grated rind and juice
2 lemons, grated rind and juice
Sugar to taste (@ cup)
4 c. white wine
2 c. light rum
Grate the rinds. Combine with sugar, wine and rum in a large pan. Add strained juices. Heat --don't let boil. Serve hot.
Potent, I warn you! All I know is, anyone who could inspire something that good must have been a wonderful man indeed.