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One translation reads: "O the splendid and divine providence of the Lord, that on that day, the very day, on which the sun was made, March 28, a Wednesday, Christ should be born.

December 25 was the date of the winter solstice on the Roman calendar.

It says that angels proclaimed him a savior for all people, and shepherds came to adore him.

In the Matthew account, magi follow a star to Bethlehem to bring gifts to Jesus, born the king of the Jews.

King Herod orders the massacre of all the boys less than two years old in Bethlehem, but the family flees to Egypt and later settles in Nazareth.

The Nativity stories of Matthew and Luke are prominent in the gospels and early Christian writers suggested various dates for the anniversary.

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