Today is the Feast Day of St. Nicholas.  A day millions of Christian children around the world will wake up to shoes filled with small gifts and candy.  In some regions, the day includes elaborate festivities of symbolic rituals to honor and celebrate the goodness and generosity of a great man born centuries ago.

Who is St. Nicholas?

The St. Nicholas Center tells his story,

The true story of Santa Claus begins with Nicholas, who was born during the third century in the village of Patara. At the time the area was Greek and is now on the southern coast of Turkey. His wealthy parents, who raised him to be a devout Christian, died in an epidemic while Nicholas was still young. Obeying Jesus’ words to “sell what you own and give the money to the poor,” Nicholas used his whole inheritance to assist the needy, the sick, and the suffering. He dedicated his life to serving God and was made Bishop of Myra while still a young man. Bishop Nicholas became known throughout the land for his generosity to the those in need, his love for children, and his concern for sailors and ships.

Under the Roman Emperor Diocletian, who ruthlessly persecuted Christians, Bishop Nicholas suffered for his faith, was exiled and imprisoned. The prisons were so full of bishops, priests, and deacons, there was no room for the real criminals—murderers, thieves and robbers. After his release, Nicholas attended the Council of Nicaea in AD 325. He died December 6, AD 343 in Myra and was buried in his cathedral church, where a unique relic, called manna, formed in his grave. This liquid substance, said to have healing powers, fostered the growth of devotion to Nicholas. The anniversary of his death became a day of celebration, St. Nicholas Day, December 6th (December 19 on the Julian Calendar).

Through the centuries many stories and legends have been told of St. Nicholas’ life and deeds. These accounts help us understand his extraordinary character and why he is so beloved and revered as protector and helper of those in need. …

Widely celebrated in Europe, St. Nicholas’ feast day, December 6th, kept alive the stories of his goodness and generosity. In Germany and Poland, boys dressed as bishops begged alms for the poor—and sometimes for themselves! In the Netherlands and Belgium, St. Nicholas arrived on a steamship from Spain to ride a white horse on his gift-giving rounds. December 6th is still the main day for gift giving and merrymaking in much of Europe. For example, in the Netherlands St. Nicholas is celebrated on the 5th, the eve of the day, by sharing candies (thrown in the door), chocolate initial letters, small gifts, and riddles. Dutch children leave carrots and hay in their shoes for the saint’s horse, hoping St. Nicholas will exchange them for small gifts. Simple gift-giving in early Advent helps preserve a Christmas Day focus on the Christ Child.

Happy St. Nicholas Day!

 

ADVERTISEMENT

 

Disable Refresh for 30 Days

Cookies and JavaScript must be enabled for your setting to be saved.


`
  1. Happy St. Nicholas Day!

  2. Once again St. Nicholas Day
    Has even come to our hideaway;
    It won’t be quite as fun, I fear,
    As the happy day we had last year.
    Then we were hopeful, no reason to doubt
    That optimism would win the bout,
    And by the time this year came round,
    We’d all be free, and safe and sound.
    Still, let’s not forget it’s St. Nicholas Day,
    Though we’ve nothing left to give away.
    We’ll have to find something else to do:
    So everyone please look in their shoe!”

    - Anne Frank, The Diary of a Young Girl

  3. God Bless you all at Gateway Pundit for presenting this up lifting post today, hope you can continue to find a positive post to lead off every day in the future.

  4. A fascinating character. There is a legend that at Nicea he slugged the heretic priest Arius.

  5. Thanks for the reminding me of St Nicholas. I have fond memories of this special day. I grew up in a simple Slovak neighborhood in upstate NY in the 30s and 40s. What a treat it was to wake up on this special day and find my small shoes overflowing with nuts, a few pieces of hard candy, a tangerine, a few pennies and a small toy.

  6. My kids all awoke to find their shoes filled this morning, as I did when I was a child. St. Nicholas day lives on.

  7. “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and the door will be opened to you.
    For everyone who asks, receives, and the one who seeks, finds, and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.”
    Matthew 7:7-8

    Happy St. Nicholas Day

    The true story of Santa Claus begins with Nicholas, who was born during the third century in the village of Patara. At the time the area was Greek and is now on the southern coast of Turkey. His wealthy parents, who raised him to be a devout Christian, died in an epidemic while Nicholas was still young. Obeying Jesus’ words to “sell what you own and give the money to the poor,” Nicholas used his whole inheritance to assist the needy, the sick, and the suffering. He dedicated his life to serving God and was made Bishop of Myra while still a young man. Bishop Nicholas became known throughout the land for his generosity to the those in need, his love for children, and his concern for sailors and ships.

    Under the Roman Emperor Diocletian, who ruthlessly persecuted Christians, Bishop Nicholas suffered for his faith, was exiled and imprisoned. The prisons were so full of bishops, priests, and deacons, there was no room for the real criminals—murderers, thieves and robbers. After his release, Nicholas attended the Council of Nicaea in AD 325. He died December 6, AD 343 in Myra and was buried in his cathedral church, where a unique relic, called manna, formed in his grave. This liquid substance, said to have healing powers, fostered the growth of devotion to Nicholas. The anniversary of his death became a day of celebration, St. Nicholas Day, December 6th (December 19 on the Julian Calendar).

    Through the centuries many stories and legends have been told of St. Nicholas’ life and deeds. These accounts help us understand his extraordinary character and why he is so beloved and revered as protector and helper of those in need.

    http://www.stnicholascenter.org/pages/who-is-st-nicholas/

    Blessings to everyone and thank you GP for posting this discussion!

  8. ++

    Thank You St Nick..

    ==





`

© Copyright 2014, TheGatewayPundit.com. All rights reserved.
Privacy Policy | Terms and Conditions | Web Development By Arlington Kirk