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Mexican legend has it that in the 16th century, a young

peasant child named Maria was distraught one


Christmas Eve, as she had no gift to lay before the altar
of the baby Jesus in her local village church. As she
walked to the chapel, saddened that her poverty
prevented her from making even the smallest offering,
her young cousin encouraged her that whatever she
gave from her heart, no matter how humble, would be
received by Jesus if it was offered in love.
Segundo a lenda mexicana, no sculo 16, uma jovem
camponesa chamada Maria estava angustiada na
vspera de Natal, pois no tinha nenhum presente para
depositar diante do altar do Menino Jesus, na igreja da
vila em que morava. A caminho da capela, triste por ser
to pobre a ponto de no poder oferecer sequer uma
pequena prenda, foi animada pela prima que lhe disse
que Jesus aceitaria com alegria aquilo que fosse dado
de corao, por mais modesto que fosse, pois era uma
oferta de amor.

Encouraged by this thought, Maria raced


around the chapel, collecting weeds and
lacing them together in a small bouquet. It
wasn't much, she knew, but she prayed that
her gift would convey all that she carried in
her heart.

Encorajada por essas palavras, Maria


correu em volta da capela colhendo
plantinhas silvestres e as entrelaando em
um pequeno buqu. No era muito, com
certeza, mas ela orou que sua oferta
traduzisse tudo que ela tinha no corao,
por mais humilde que fosse.

As she walked to the altar to present her


offering, she was scolded by some people who
questioned the appropriateness of presenting a
gift of weeds to the Holy Child. Determined
nonetheless to offer her little bouquet, Maria
walked boldly to the front of the church, knelt,
and laid her bouquet by the nativity scene.

Ao se dirigir ao altar com seu presente, foi


censurada por algumas pessoas que
questionaram se seria apropriado depositar mato
no altar do menino sagrado. Determinada a
oferecer o pequeno arranjo que fizera, Maria
avanou com ousadia at a frente da nave,
ajoelhou-se e deixou seu pequeno buqu
prximo ao prespio.

As she walked to the altar to present her


offering, she was scolded by some people who
questioned the appropriateness of presenting
a gift of weeds to the Holy Child.
Determined nonetheless to offer her little
bouquet, Maria walked boldly to the front of
the church, knelt, and laid her bouquet by the
nativity scene.

According to the legend, the bouquet of weeds


burst into bright red flowers, and all the
parishioners in attendance proclaimed that they
had seen a Christmas miracle. Because of this,
and the fact that it blooms around Christmas,
the poinsettia became known in Mexico as "flor
de Noche Buena," or "Christmas Eve flower."

Ento, o pequeno ramalhete se encheu de flores


vermelhas e todos os membros da parquia que ali
estavam proclamaram haverem visto um milagre
de Natal. Por isso e porque a planta originria do
Mxico floresce na poca de Natal, a poinstia se
tornou conhecida naquele pas por flor de Noche
Buena, a flor da vspera de Natal.

Let us always remember that God can


transform even our humblest efforts into
flaming flowers that proclaim His love.

Jamais esquecer que Deus pode transformar


at nossos mais humildes esforos em flores
milagrosas que proclamam Seu amor

Text courtesy of Activated! Magazine. Used with permission.


Photo credits:
Page 1 Sarunas Burdulis via Flickr
Page 2 Torbakhopper He Dead via Flickr
Page 3 JRP via Flickr
Page 4 Wikimedia Commons
Page 5 Microsoft Clipart

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