Few historical figures have been more proud, dictatorial and self-assertive than the Emperor Napoleon Boneparte.
After his defeat in the Battle of Waterloo (1815 A.D.), he was exiles by the British on the Island of St. Helena, off the West Coast of Africa. Here this most ambitious of men who had almost conquered the whole known world, found himself on a mall island from which there was no hope of escape; with a few attendants, bereft of the adulation to which he was accustomed, and with nothing to look forward to but death.
He had been born into a Catholic family on the Island of Corsica and baptized. But, for him, the Church had become merely a political instrument, to be used or abused as he saw fit. He had commanded the Pope to travel from Rome to Paris to crown him as Emperor. As the Pope was about to lay the crown on his head, Napoleon snapped it from his hands and crowned himself. Such was the man!
In the agony of his exile, he turned to the Gospels, which he not only read, cut studied and prayed over. He was gifted with a more than ordinary intelligence, and he was captivated by the story of Christ.
Having completed his study, he is reported to have said, “Alexander the Great, Julius Caesar, Charlemange and myself; we have all tried to found empires, and our empires have crumbled in the dust, because they were founded on force. One Man alone founded an empire on love. And today, nineteen hundred years after His death, there are millions of men who are ready to lay down their lives for His Name.”
Then he asked the rhetorical question, “Can He be less than God?” If the answer to that question is “Yes, He is less than God,” then Christmas is a sham!
But if the answer is “Yes, He is God” as St. John makes clear in the first chapter of his Gospel ― “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was God ̵ and the Word became flesh and dwelt among us,” than Christmas becomes ― next to Easter ― the greatest day in the year; a day which should be celebrated with love, thanksgiving, joy and prayer.
It is obviously the greatest Birthday in the history of the world, and should be celebrated as such.