Happy Thanksgiving from St. Patrick Catholic High School

As we prepare for Thanksgiving, let us reflect on the Catholic origins of this national holiday. We all know the famous Thanksgiving meal between Native Americans and Puritan Pilgrims celebrated in 1621; however, the first American Thanksgiving was celebrated September 8, 1565, in St. Augustine, Florida. The Spanish settlers held a feast with Native Americans and celebrated Mass together. April 30, 1598, marked another similar Thanksgiving meal. The conquistador Don Juan de Oñate declared a day of Thanksgiving to be commemorated by a Holy Mass, and it was celebrated in Texas.

The famous Squanto of the Patuxet tribe aided the Puritan Pilgrims in their survival of their first winter in the new world, specifically Massachusetts. He also orchestrated the first nationally recognized Thanksgiving we still celebrate today. At first, he had been enslaved by the English but was freed by the Spanish Franciscans. The Franciscans then baptized Squanto into the Catholic faith. 

Though the holiday is centered around delicious meals, stuffed turkeys, familial gatherings and the beginnings of our great country, we must not forget about the one who binds us all together as brothers and sisters: Jesus Christ. “Thanksgiving” in Greek is Eucharistia. Thus, the Body and Blood of Christ that we celebrate every week is the true “Thanksgiving Meal.”  Remember to count all your blessings and to love those around you. We pray for the safety of all families traveling for Thanksgiving break, and that we all have a blessed week!

1 Thessolonians 5:18: “In everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”