The Fathers of the Church don’t say much about the New Year, because there is no such day on the liturgical calendar.  For the Western Church today, the first day of January is the Solemnity of Mary, a feast day commemorating and honoring the great blessing to us of her motherhood.

But the Fathers do mention the New Year.  St. Gregory of Nyssa writes the following lines to his friend Libanius to thank him for another sort of blessing -- a letter he happened to receive from Libanius on New Year’s Day:

It was a custom with the Romans to celebrate a feast in winter-time, after the custom of their fathers, when the length of the days begins to draw out, as the sun climbs to the upper regions of the sky.  Now the beginning of the month is esteemed holy, and by this day auguring the character of the whole year, they devote themselves to forecasting lucky accidents, gladness, and wealth.  What is my object in beginning my letter in this way?  Why, I do so because I too kept this feast, having got my present of gold as well as any of them; for then there came into my hands as well as theirs gold, not like that vulgar gold, which potentates treasure and which those that have it give -- that heavy, vile, and soulless possession -- but that which is loftier than all wealth, as Pindar says , in the eyes of those that have sense, being the fairest presentation.  I mean your letter, and the vast wealth which it contained.

In this New Year may we all have such true friends, may we all be such true friends, and may we all be true friends of God.