This was given to us. "The Twelve Days of Christmas" The Christmas carol, "The Twelve Days of Christmas," was written by Jesuit missionary priests in England during the time of the persecution of Catholics by Queen Elizabeth. To the Protestants, this was a seemingly harmless song about the Twelve Days of Christmas, which begins on Christmas Day and ends on the Epiphany, January 6. To the Catholics, however, the song had a far deeper meaning. This popular Christmas carol was full of secret references to the Catholic Faith. Catholics used this song, with its constant repetition, to teach their children the catechism! There are two levels of meaning in the carol. There was, of course, the surface meaning There was, however, also a second level rich with hidden signs known only to Catholics. At this secret level, each element was a symbol for a religious reality, which helped the children to remember: - My True Love is Almighty God Who sent us His Son. - The Partridge is Jesus Christ. - The Pear Tree is the Cross which Redeemed us from the Fall of our First Parents at the symbolic apple tree-the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. - Two Turtle Doves are the Old and New Testaments. - Three French Hens represent Faith, Hope, and Charity; also the Blessed Trinity; and the Gifts of the Magi. - Four Calling Birds are the Four Gospels as well as the Four Major Prophets of the Old Testament. - Five Golden Rings are the first five Books of the Old Testament, the Rings symbolize God's Eternal Nature and Loving Faithfulness. - Six Geese A-Laying are the Six Days of Creation. - Seven Swans A-Swimming represent the Seven Gifts of the Holy Ghost; the Seven Sacraments; the Seven Corporal and Spiritual Works of Mercy; Seven Deadly Sins; and the Seventh Day, Sunday, belonging to God. - Eight Maids A-milking are the Eight Beatitudes. - Nine Ladies Dancing are the Nine Choirs of Angels. - Ten Lords A-Leaping are the Ten Commandments. - Eleven Pipers Piping are the Eleven Faithful Apostles. - Twelve Drummers Drumming are the Twelve points of belief in the Apostles Creed, also Twelve original Apostles, Twelve Minor Prophets of the Old Testament, Twelve Tribes of Israel, and Twelve fruits of the Holy Ghost.