It is tender to think that decades after Mary E. Armstrong, Joseph Armstrong, and James A. Neal all first discovered Christian Science—through Mrs. Armstrong’s healing of a chronic illness—they remained in contact, including at the Christmas season.1

Mr. Armstrong, his wife, and his former bank employee, James Neal, would each dedicate their lives to the Cause of Christian Science and support the work of its Discoverer and Founder. All three were taught by Mary Baker Eddy herself, became practitioners (and in the case of Mr. Armstrong and Mr. Neal, teachers), and were appointed by Mrs. Eddy to serve the growing Christian Science movement in various roles—from director of The Mother Church to household worker in her Pleasant View home.

Despite their growing commitments, holiday messages went back and forth between the two households for many years. Among the many Armstrong papers in Longyear’s collection are numerous Christmas cards, including one that is red and beribboned, bearing a large N and “Hearty Christmas Greetings.” It was sent by James Neal and his wife in 1906.

The Armstrongs carefully preserved cards from many friends who were pioneers in the Christian Science movement. But they weren’t the only early workers to cherish and save their holiday greetings. Longyear researchers regularly encounter festive flashes of red and green among the papers of the Museum’s collection, precious mementos that show the relationships and affection that early Christian Scientists shared.

We hope you enjoy this selection of cards from the Longyear vault. Click on the thumbnails below to see a larger image and learn more about each card.


End Notes

  1. James A. Neal reminiscences, The Mary Baker Eddy Collection, the Mary Baker Eddy Library, Boston, Massachusetts (hereafter referenced as MBEL).

Caption Notes

  1. James A. Neal reminiscences, MBEL.
  2. MiscellanyJournal of Christian Science (November 3, 1898): 3.