2005-12-21 / LifeStyles

The Legend of the Christma Candles

Mayor calls for

candles to be burned

Mayor J.N. Lipscomb yesterday called on the people of Gaffney to burn candles in the window of their homes from Friday night through Christmas night as a “show of devotion of God.”

The mayor issued the following statement: “This morning I received a Christmas card from one whom I have known all my life. Enclosed was a copy of the legend of the Christmas Candles, a beautiful story of prayer, faith in God and burning candles.

Our faith in God, as ever, is now our salvation, in a world

(EDITOR’S NOTE: This heart-warming article is provided by Scrapbook columnist Jack Allison. It first appeared in The Ledger during the Christmas season of 1950. Jack requested that it be reprinted in The Ledger today for all to see how it relates to the present world situation.) torn by war, strife, atheist totalitarian warlords.

“I would like very much for the people of our city to join together during this holy season in united prayer for peace on earth and for our men and women in uniform the world over. A show of devotion to God by placing a burning candle in a window of our homes starting Friday night of this week and lasting through Christmas night is suggested. These will be a reminder to us in our homes and those passing that a gracious God exists and that through prayer and faith in Him whose birth we honor at Christmas all things are possible and that our troubles can be solved if only we believe.

“As for me, a candle will burn in my home. Won’t you please join me and my good friend whose suggestion I appreciate and feel will be of untold good to all of us.”

A copy of the “Legend of the Christmas Candle” to which Mayor Lipscomb referred follows:

Once upon a time, many, many years ago, an old cobbler and his wife lived in a tiny cottage at the edge of a village in Austria. This humble shoemaker had few worldly possessions; but whatever he owned, he shared with others.

Symbolic of this generosity and love of mankind was the lighted candle he placed in the window of his cottage. Every night this light would shine forth as a welcomed sign of hospitality to any weary traveler who might be in search of shelter.

Over a period of several years, war, famine and near destruction fell on this little village but never once did the little candle fail to send its beams as a message of hope and cheer to all.

Hardships and losses came to the village as a result of the war. Loved sons were killed in battle; crops failed and animals starved for want of grain.

And yet, through, all this trouble, the little cobbler and his wife suffered far less than the other villagers. It seemed that there was a magical charm guarding these two. Discouraged and weary, the village peasants gathered together one evening to discuss the cobbler’s fortune.

“Surely there is something special about him; he is always spared from our misfortunes. What does he do that we do not do?”

“Perhaps it is his little candle,” said one of the villagers. “Let us put a candle in our window, too, and see if that is the mysterious charm.”

Now it so happened that the day of the peasants meeting was the day before Christmas and the first night that a candle was lighted in the window of every home was Christmas Eve.

The candles burned all that night. When morning came, it seemed as though a miracle had occurred. A soft mantle of snow covered all the village and an air of hope and contentment filled the hearts of the villagers.

Before the first ray of the morning sun had cast its first gleam upon the new fallen snow, a messenger rode into the village to bring the great news – peace had come!

Tiny silver church bells chimed as the people knelt in prayer on this most wonderful morning. Never before had there been such a feeling of Christmas glory and joy as there was on this day.

The peasants were awed: “It was the candles,” they whispered. “They have brought an answer to all of our prayers. We must never again fall to light our candles on His Birthday.”

And now, many, many years later, this beautiful custom has spread all over the world – until today millions of candles flicker all over the world, sending forth a message of love, hope and cheer that will never grow old.

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