Sunday, December 6, 2015

On This Feast of St. Nicholas...

While today may officially be the Second Sunday of Advent in the Latin Church, December 6th is the commemoration of the feast of St. Nicholas, Bishop of Myra. Obviously, as he is my patron saint, I love him and ask for his intercession before God every day, and the more I learn about him the more I love him. While there are many legends both old and new, there is plenty of historical backing to this great saint, and the evidence proves how holy of a man he was. My favorite story about him, where he punches Arius in the face during the Council of Nicaea is pretty dubious, but sources certainly put St. Nicholas there at the First Ecumenical Council of Nicaea where our current Creed was drafted.
St. Nicholas- Jacobo Robusti Tintoretto
A quick little history on this saint: St. Nicholas was born in the year 270 in the town of Patara, which is located in present day Turkey. His parents were very rich, but died when St. Nicholas was young. He was then adopted by his uncle, also named Nicholas, who was the bishop of Patara. He was a very humble man, and had a deep devotion to Christ, praying always. He also was very fond of the poor and those less fortunate, and often gave everything he could to help these people, especially poor children. This is where we see the tradition that Santa Claus gives gifts to children at Christmas.

St. Nicholas is one of only three men to have ever been nominated and made a bishop without being ordained a priest before his nomination. The other two are also saints, St. Ambrose and St. Severerus. Around the year 300, Nicholas was ordained a deacon, priest, then bishop all on the same day, and became the Bishop of the city of Myra, near where he was born.St. Ambrose, whose feast day of tomorrow, is another saint I am very fond of, and it's fitting that both of these great men were so full of the Holy Spirit, that the people were compelled to elect these holy men as bishops... before they had even received the sacrament of Holy Orders!

Anyways, I leave you all with this hilarious video made last Christmas by a secular Franciscan. It's a parody of "I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus"... only Santa Claus isn't kissing, he's punching. And it's not your mom, but who else... Arius! St. Nicholas, pray for us!

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