Past Calendar Changes
The calendar now in use, a Roman calendar, has been changed, but that change did not break the weekly cycle.
Prior to its change, it was called the Julian calendar, because it originated at the time of Julius Caesar, 45 B.C. several years before the birth of Christ. The one change was ordered by Pope Gregory, and since then it has been called the Gregorian calendar.
The Julian calendar was imperfect it inserted leap years too frequently. Back in 45 B.C. they supposed the year was exactly 365¼ days long, and to take care of the extra one-fourth day each year, added a day to the month of February every four years. But it was found later the year was 12 minutes and 14 seconds shorter than this. Consequently, by the time of Pope Gregory, the calendar had drifted TEN DAYS away from the seasons. The Spring equinox, consequently, fell on March 11th, instead of March 21st.
To correct this, ten days were dropped from the calendar. But they were dropped only from the number of days in the MONTH, not from the number of days in the WEEK. A man named Lilius proposed the method which was adopted in making the change. In the Catholic Encyclopedia, Vol.9, p. 251, under article “Lilius,” explaining this change, we read: “Thus, every imaginable proposition was made, only one idea was never mentioned, viz., the abandonment of the seven-day week.”
In the Catholic Encyclopedia, Vol.3, p. 740, article “Chronology,” we read: “It is to be noted that in the Christian period, the order of days in the week has never been interrupted. Thus, when Gregory XIII reformed the calendar in 1582, Thursday, 4 October was followed by Friday, 15 October. So in England, in 1752, Wednesday, 2 September, was followed by Thursday, 14 September.”
Since the Catholics changed the calendar, the Catholic Encyclopedia is the best historical authority there is on the question, and is proof positive.
So that the reader may clearly understand it, and SEE how it was worked out on the Calendar, we reproduce below the actual calendar. The change was made in Spain, Portugal, and Italy, in 1582. Here is the calendar for October, 1582!
You will notice how ten days were dropped out. One day was the 4th, and the very next day was the 15th of October. But the 4th was Thursday, and the next day was FRIDAY.
To make it still plainer, the 29th of September that year was a Sabbath, or Saturday. The 30th was Sunday. The 1st of October was Monday, the 2nd was Tuesday, the 3rd was Wednesday, the 4th was Thursday, and the next day was Friday, but it was not the 5th: it was the 15th. And the following day was Saturday, the 16th. Actually Saturday, the 16th, was just one week of seven days after the preceding Saturday, the 29th of September. There had been exactly seven days, seven sunsets, from one Sabbath to the next. The change in the calendar DID NOT IN ANY WAY CHANGE THE SABBATH, or the succession of the DAYS OF THE WEEK.
Now the British countries refused to change the calendar when the pope ordered it. They continued with the old Julian calendar until 1752. And while their days of the month were different, yet their days of the week were JUST THE SAME AS IN ROME. Those who kept the Sabbath in England kept the same SATURDAY that was called Saturday in Rome. Those who observed Sunday observed the same day, both in Rome where the calendar had been changed, and in London where it had not.
The English countries changed the calendar in 1752. By that time it was necessary to drop out 11 days. The change was made in September as follows:
Now in Russia, the calendar was never changed until just recently, IN OUR OWN LIFETIME. Consequently, in the year 1907, the day that we called the 14th of August, the Russians called the 1st of August. Our calendars were 13 days apart. Yet in BOTH countries, we both called that same day SATURDAY. In BOTH countries, SATURDAY fell on the same day of the week. The calendar has since been changed in Russia. And still their Sunday is our Sunday their Saturday is our Saturday. For reference, see above article, “Chronology,” Catholic Encyclopedia.
And so we see that the calendar that has been IN EFFECT SINCE 45 B.C. prior to the birth of Christ, proves that there has never been any change in the weekly cycle from the time of Christ until now. The SATURDAY of today is the same seventh day of the week as it was in CHRIST’S time. We can, therefore, be sure we keep the same Sabbath day that Christ kept, setting us an example the same day He said He was LORD of (Mark 2:28).