Stille Nacht, Heilige Nacht

It has been 202 years since the young priest, Joseph Mohr (1792-1848), sang his famous Christmas poem to his congregation in Mariapfarr, Austria. Franz Gruber, a personal friend of Joseph Mohr, set the poem to music. Together, they sang Silent Night as a duet accompanied by guitar. An unconventional instrument for mass, the guitar was perfect for a lullaby to the new-born King.

Today, Joseph Mohr’s poem Stille Nacht, Heilege Nacht is the most popular Christmas carol in the world. The sweetness of the lyrics coupled with the simplicity of the melody, still invite the spirit of God today. It is impossible to sing this lullaby without feeling something about God and His Son.

Joseph Mohr never knew his poem would enjoy great popularity. He never knew that it would be translated into 300 languages and sung before Kings, dictators and Presidents. Many people believe that this is a great tragedy for Joseph Mohr.

I disagree.

Father Mohr was blest to create and sing a song for the people he loved and served, namely God and his congregation of believers. The powerful message of Silent Night has gone on to touch millions of people, believers and non-believers alike. The fact that Joseph Mohr never knew his influence would extend so far sends a powerful message for us all.

It is a message of hope. It shows us clearly that what we do in this life matters! The burdens we lift, the confidences we keep, the hurts we heal – all of these small kindnesses continue to live in the memories of those we love. Who knows, but it may be your kind words and good actions that create a ripple effect to touch the lives of people you never meet.

It happened for Joseph Mohr, a disciple of Christ. It can happen for you.

Photo by Stephan Seeber on Unsplash Information courtesy of

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