Students at Mount Saint Dominic Academy expanded on their traditional Epiphany prayer service this year by recognizing the victims of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in Newtown, Conn.
Each year, students at the Catholic high school ask for God’s blessing for their homes and school on or around Jan. 6. They follow a tradition that dates back to the Middle Ages, inscribing in chalk 20 + C + M + B + 13 on the doors of each of their classrooms.
According to a release from the school, the letters represent the initials of the Magi (Casper, Melchior, Balthasar), the wise men who visited Jesus Christ shortly after his birth in Bethlehem, as well as the Latin motto, Christus mansionem benedicat, which translates to “May Christ Bless This House." The numerals stand for the new year.
This year, students went a step further and hung a star in each classroom. Each star contains the name and date of birth of one of the 20 children killed by a gunman who broke into the school at Sandy Hook. In the administrative offices of the school, a star is dedicated to the principal and teachers killed at Sandy Hook.
Students, teachers and staff will pray for the victims their star is dedicated to during the school year.