A World War I Christmas

The Gospel of Luke 2:1–20 tells the story of Jesus’s birth, describing angels singing of peace on earth. This story influenced Pope Benedict XV to suggest a “temporary peace” between the warring countries of Britain, France, and Germany, to be observed on Christmas Day, 1914, in the midst of brutal trench warfare.

While leaders of those countries did not formally agree to a cease-fire on Christmas Day—the shelling stopped along some parts of the Western Front, as soldiers gathered together to share food and a day of “peace on earth.”

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