Monday, December 8, 2008

Who Was St. Nicholas?

On December 6th, the Catholic Church celebrated the memorial of St. Nicholas the Wonderworker, bishop of Myra. Who was he; and, is he Santa Claus?

Let's start with the real St. Nicholas, bishop of Myra, whose tomb can be seen here. Who is St. Nicholas? How has St. Nicholas influenced American customs? Why (and how to) celebrate St. Nicholas's day?

So, this is the real St. Nicholas. What then, of the origin of Santa Claus? Is St. Nicholas actually Santa Claus in disguise? Is this just a Catholic thing, or do American Protestants have a take on St. Nicholas (just how would a Martian reporter do a story on Christmas)?

Take a moment to make this traditional St. Nicholas prayer:
"God, Who didst grace the Blessed Nicholas as protector of imperiled innocence whilst he lived, and after his death by countless miracles, grant that by his merits we may be freed from perversion of justice while alive and from the fires of Gehenna after death."
Now THAT is a prayer for the children!

Remember this, this Advent season: Mary Christ Mass!

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