Could Thanksgiving be more Catholic than we realized?
In this eye-opening classic episode of “The Catholic Talk Show,” Ryan Scheel, Ryan Dellacrosse, and Father Rich Pagano share the fascinating history between Catholicism and the celebration of the first American Thanksgiving!
Our journey begins in 1565, a full 50 years before the Pilgrims’ feast.
Father Pagano shares that “the actual first Thanksgiving in America” took place in St. Augustine, Fla., when Spanish pilgrims and the Timucua tribe shared a cocido meal (a hearty stew), and local produce, marking a moment of unity and thankfulness to God.
Our Lady of La Leche was so important to these early Catholic Thanksgiving celebrations in America.
Brought over by the pilgrims when they founded the first Shrine of Our Lady in St. Augustine, this devotion stems from the Milk Grotto in Bethlehem, where a drop of milk from the Virgin Mary turned the cave white, a symbol of nourishment and thanksgiving.
The guys also explore the holiday’s profound connection with the Eucharist, which means “Thanksgiving” in Greek.
Father Pagano says the Eucharist represents gratitude and divine sustenance from God. Even saints, such as Blessed Alexandrina da Costa, lived solely on the Eucharist!
“It’s our work in prayer, investing time in God, lifting up our prayers in thanksgiving, and being fed by God himself through the Eucharist,” Father Pagano says.
As you gather with family and friends this Thanksgiving, let’s remember that “Thanksgiving is about family and faith and recognizing God’s many blessings that come to us, and how God provides for us.”