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Adam and Eve depicted in the Garden of Eden, artist unknown.

Feast of Saints Adam and Eve

Adam and Eve, the first man and woman created by God as recounted in the Old Testament book of Genesis, are the father and mother of all humanity. Through their willful disobedience to the command of God, sin came into the world. To redeem mankind which was thereby separated from the perfect communion with the Holy Trinity for which they were created, God became man, born of the Blessed Virgin Mary, and died on a Cross. Jesus is the New Adam, and Mary is the New Eve. Christian tradition recognizes that Adam and Eve were rescued by Christ in virtue of His death, burial, and resurrection, and are with God and the saints in heaven. Their feast day is celebrated together on December 24th.
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The Expulsion of Adam and Eve from Paradise, 1791 by Benjamin West

In the first Chapters of the Book of Genesis we find two important images: the garden, with the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, and the serpent (cf. 2:15-17; 3:1-5). The garden tells us that the reality in which God has placed the human being is not a wild forest but a place that protects, nurtures and sustains; and human beings must not consider the world as a property to be looted and exploited but as a gift of the Creator, a sign of his saving will, a gift to be cultivated and safeguarded, to increase and to develop with respect and in harmony, following its rhythms and logic in accordance with God’s plan (cf. Gen 2:8-15).

Then the serpent is a symbol that comes from the Oriental fertility cults that fascinated Israel and were a constant temptation to abandon the mysterious covenant with God. In this light Sacred Scripture presents the temptation of Adam and Eve as the core of temptation and sin. What, in fact, did the serpent say? He did not deny God but insinuated a subtle question: “Did God say, ‘you shall not eat of any tree of the garden’?” (Gen 3:1). This is how the serpent awoke in them the suspicion that the covenant with God was nothing but a chain that bound them, that deprived them of freedom and of the most beautiful and precious things of life. Their temptation became the temptation to build by themselves the world in which to live, to refuse to accept the limitations of being creatures, the limitations of good and evil, of morality; they saw their dependence on the love of God the Creator as a burden of which to free themselves. This is always the essence of temptation. But when the relationship with God is falsified, with a lie, putting ourselves in his place, all other relationships are altered. The other then becomes a rival, a threat. Straight after succumbing to the temptation, Adam turned on Eve (cf. Gen 3:12); the two conceal themselves from the sight of that God with whom they had been conversing as friends (cf. 3:8-10); the world is no longer the garden in which to live in harmony, but a place to exploit, riddled with hidden snares (cf 3:14-19); envy and hatred for others entered man’s heart. An example of this is Cain who kills his own brother Abel (cf. 4:3-9).

Actually, in opposing their Creator people go against themselves, deny their origin and consequently their truth; and evil, with its painful chain of sorrow and death, enters the world. Moreover, all that God had created was good, indeed, very good, but after man had opted freely for falsehood rather than truth, evil entered the world.

From a General Audience, Pope Benedict XVI, Feb 6, 2013
Paolo Veronese Adam and Eve after the expulsion from paradise by Paolo Veronese

Follow the saints because those who follow them will become saints.”

Saint Clement I, pope
Christ’s descent into hell. He is depicted bringing Adam and Eve to heaven.

Saints Adam and Eve, pray for us.

Be not afraid!  And may the peace of Christ be with you and your loved ones today and always.  Holy Family pray for us.  Amen.

The Holy Family, Murillo
The Heavenly and Earthly Trinities (c. 1675-82) by Bartolomé Esteban Murillo (1617 – 1682)

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