The American Thanksgiving holiday is not about the Eucharist but it is the secular holiday that most resembles a Catholic holy day because it is a day dedicated to giving thanks for blessings received.

In the Catholic Church, thanksgiving is celebrated at Mass every day in the Eucharistic Liturgy when Christ is profoundly present to Catholics in a sacramental way. The Greek word “eucharisto” means “to give thanks”.

In 1565, Catholic settlers from Spain celebrated the first Mass of Thanksgiving in the New World and held a feast with Timucua Indians in St. Augustine, Florida.

56 years later, Plymouth colonists and Wampanoag Indians thanked God for the harvest by celebrating a 3-day feast in 1621.

President George Washington originally called for an official “day of public thanksgiving and prayer” in 1789. In 1863, President Abraham Lincoln declared that the 4th Thursday of November would be an official holiday of Thanksgiving.

A secular holiday with religious overtones:

Fr. Dan O’Reilly Online

Uniquely American and uniquely religious:

Catholic Online

Rejoice in the Lord always. I shall say it again: rejoice! Your kindness should be known to all. The Lord is near. Have no anxiety at all, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, make your requests known to God. Then the peace of God that surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.

Philippians 4: 4-7

Gratitude is fundamental to Christianity:

Fr. Andrew Dickinson

As in the prayer of petition, every event and need can become an offering of thanksgiving. The letters of St. Paul often begin and end with thanksgiving, and the Lord Jesus is always present in it: “Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you”; “Continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving.”

Catechism of the Catholic Church 2638

Remembering how God has blessed us:

Diocese of Houma-Thibodaux

Thanking God always and everywhere:

Ascension Presents

There is also cause for thanksgiving and if we pay a little attention we see that we receive very many good things from God. He is so good to us that it is right and necessary to say “thank you”. And our prayer should also be a prayer of praise: if our hearts are open in spite of all the problems we also see the beauty of his creation, the goodness that is revealed in his creation. Therefore we must not only ask but also praise and give thanks, only in this way is our prayer complete. In his Letters St Paul does not only speak of prayer; he also refers to prayers and of course prayers of petition as well, but prayers of praise and blessing for all that God has worked and continues to work in humanity’s history.

Pope Benedict XVI, General Audience, 20 June 2012

The first Thanksgiving was a Catholic Mass:


Catholics were involved in creating Thanksgiving:


Celebrating Thanksgiving as a Catholic and an American:


The Truth, Goodness, and Beauty of the Catholic Church

To love is to be vulnerable:

Grandin Media

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