St Nicholas

posted by: Joan | on: Wednesday, 9 December 2015, 11:54

St Nicholas

St Nicholas

The story of Santa Claus begins with Nicholas, who was born during the third century in the village of Patara, which is now on the south 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 those in need, his love for children, and his concern for seafarers and ships.

Under the Roman Emperor Diocletian, who ruthlessly persecuted Christians, Nicholas suffered for his faith, and he was exiled and imprisoned for at least five years. After his release, Nicholas attended the Council of Nicaea in A.D. 325. He died on December 6th, A.D. 343 in Myra and was buried in his cathedral church, where a unique relic, formed in his grave. This liquid substance, said to have healing powers, fostered the growth of devotion to Nicholas and the anniversary of his death became a day of celebration.

Over the years many stories have been told of St Nicholas’ life. These accounts help us to understand his extra ordinary character and why he is so revered as protector of the needy.

One story tells of a poor man with three daughters. In those days it was expected that a young woman’s father would offer prospective husbands a dowry, the larger the dowry the better the chance that the young woman would find a good husband. Mysteriously, on three occasions, a bag of gold appeared in their home, providing the much-needed dowries. The bags of gold, tossed through an open window, are said to have fallen in stockings or shoes left in front of the fire to dry. This led to the custom, still followed today, of children hanging stockings eagerly waiting for gifts from Santa.

 Posted: 9 Dec 2015 | There are 0 comments

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