Although it’s the Second Sunday of Advent, I want to wish you a Happy Feast of St. Nicholas! We often confuse him with Santa Claus but they are distinct. St. Nicholas is one of my favorites and I want to tell you a little about him!

About the year 270, two wealthy, young Roman Christians named Epiphanes and Joanna were wed in a town in modern Turkey called Patara. They had only one child – a son that they named Nicholas. His name is a combination of the two Greek words nicos (“victory”) and laos (“people”). Medieval Christians believed that this meant Nicholas was to be a man to lead God’s people to victory over their sinfulness. All accounts agree that Nicholas was a particularly pious child. He never married.

After his parents died, Nicholas inherited their wealth. One of Nicholas’s fellow citizens was in great debt and had resolved to sell his three daughters into sexual slavery to pay the debt. Nicholas was horrified. He helped the man pay the debt by wrapping gold into a small sack and tossing it through the man’s open windows at night. Thus, Nicholas became an “anonymous gift-giver” and saved the three girls from a terrible life.

Nicholas was elected to serve as the bishop of a small town called Myra. He lived a holy life and worked many miracles by his prayers. After he died, his bones were found to secrete a perfumed oil. His body was exhumed and smuggled to Bari, Italy, for safekeeping in 1087. Upon exhumation, his bones were said to be red, warm to the touch, and still secreting oil. This oil-production continues to this day. Every year on May 27th, the oil is extracted and the people of Bari are anointed with it.

Pray to St. Nicholas – he is a powerful saint and a wonderful friend!

Fr. Ryan

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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