Who is Saint Nicholas?
By: Jennifer Gladen
The names Santa Claus and St. Nicholas are often used interchangeably. It is true that both are known as St. Nicholas. However, there is more to St. Nicholas than what we see around Christmas time. St Nicholas was a generous bishop who lived to help others. Each year many of us celebrate the feast of St. Nicholas in our families on December 6th.
St. Nicholas was a bishop from the land of Myra in the fourth century. He was known for his kindness and compassion. His parents died while he was young, but he inherited a large amount of money from them. Instead
of using all that money for only himself, he used it to help others.
There was a poor family who needed of dowry money to keep the daughters out of slavery. St. Nicholas tossed bags of money down the chimney or through the window to help the family out. Some stories say he even hid the money in stockings while they were drying. He did this for all the daughters in the family. The father finally saw
St. Nicholas the third time he came by with his gift. The man gave sincere and emotional thanks to St. Nicholas. The bishop’s kindness ensured a safer life for the girls.
To celebrate St. Nicholas’ memory, children all over the world leave their shoes out on December 5th. In the morning children find that St. Nicholas left small treats or gifts in their shoes. Some children leave treats for St. Nicholas’ donkey, which he used in his travels.
There are many more stories and legends that surround this amazing saint.
Visit http://www.stnicholascenter.org for further reading and ways to celebrate the feast day.