I say this every year, but that's just because it is always true. First is Easter, then is Christmas, then is ... my birthday!
Some people ignore their birthdays or don't want much fuss made. Not me. Everyone in the household knows it too. (To be fair, they all regard their birthdays to be the third most important day of the year.)
You notice that only Jesus trumps this day for me ... so then imagine the place He holds to overcome a lifetime of "most important day of the year" before I became Christian.
Hannah showed the proper spirit several years ago when she was filling out a job application on Sunday and asked me what the date was. Then she answered her own question with, "Oh, wait. It must be the 22nd because I know Wednesday is the 25th." Yep, just like Christmas. All other dates are figured around this one.
Tom is supplying the celebratory dessert. Not a cake or a Strawberry Tart as I made last year, but Tiramisu which for some reason really struck me a few days ago as just the thing.
Also I love the fact that this is also St. (Padre) Pio's birthday. I couldn't find anything online that communicates the sense of joy and light-heartedness that I received while reading a biography of him. It was a photo of him with his head thrown back laughing that first made me notice him. I thought, "Now there is someone I could talk to..."
While praying before a cross, he received the stigmata on 20 September 1918, the first priest ever to be so blessed. As word spread, especially after American soldiers brought home stories of Padre Pio following WWII, the priest himself became a point of pilgrimage for both the pious and the curious. He would hear confessions by the hour, reportedly able to read the consciences of those who held back. Reportedly able to bilocate, levitate, and heal by touch. Founded the House for the Relief of Suffering in 1956, a hospital that serves 60,000 a year. In the 1920's he started a series of prayer groups that continue today with over 400,000 members worldwide.And it is the Venerable Bede's saint day which is also very cool. You will never read a better death than that of the Venerable Bede ("Write faster!").
Even on the day of his death (the vigil of the Ascension, 735) the saint was still busy dictating a translation of the Gospel of St. John. In the evening the boy Wilbert, who was writing it, said to him: "There is still one sentence, dear master, which is not written down." And when this had been supplied, and the boy had told him it was finished, "Thou hast spoken truth", Bede answered, "it is finished. Take my head in thy hands for it much delights me to sit opposite any holy place where I used to pray, that so sitting I may call upon my Father." And thus upon the floor of his cell singing, "Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Ghost" and the rest, he peacefully breathed his last breath.