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Sunday, December 13, 2009

Saint Nicholas

Saint Nicholas lived in what is now southern Turkey between 260 and 280 AD. two sources corroborate his appointment as the bishop of Myra.

Though stories begin to change over time, often to make it more interesting to tell, accounts are consistent on many points. He is listed on the original Greek list of attendees at the Council of Nicae as well as five other lists.

I have no problem believing he was a real person.
He is noted for his great compassion and service to those in need. One of his symbols is three gold balls, representative of dowries he supplied for poor girls who had none.

He supported those wrongly accused of crimes as many historical documents support. For these reasons he became the patron saint of children, the oppressed and sailors.

He was a man who lived the love of God by caring for those around him. There are several accounts of Saint Nicholas rescuing children from abusive situations. He is rumored to fill children's shoes with treats and food. over time, the children would put hay and carrots in their shoes for Nicholas donkey.

The tradition spread across Europe as nuns took on the tradition of filing the children's shoes.The legends of Saint Nicholas spread to the New world with the colonists, though there are some differences between Saint Nick and Santa Claus, the essential spirit of giving remain.

The ancient sources cited to substantiate this information are Michael the Archimandrite, Sinaitic and Ethiopian manuscripts, Gratianus' Decretum, Theodore the Lector, Andrew of Crete, Eustratios of Constantinople, AD 583; Passionarium Romanum, 650 AD; and Praxis de tributo.


Donna Hatch said...

I didn't know some of that about good old St Nick! Thanks for the great information. And maybe it's the child in me coming out, but I've always believed he was a real person, too.

Jen Childers said...

Everyone seemed to like him, of course there's always someone who will say something negative.
I love how other people started to imitate him by doing nice things for the needy and children.
take care,