A Few Christmas Saints
Last Thursday we began our first installment of Saints and Supper. We started off talking about a rather well known saint, Nicholas. Nicholas is probably best known as the saint that laid the groundwork for the legend of Santa Clause. But before Santa Clause, there was Nicholas. He was a bishop of Myra (a coastal city in modern day Turkey). As bishop he was known for his generosity and care for the needy. Nicholas was inspired by the words of Christ to “sell what you own and give your money to the poor” (Matthew 19:21; Luke 18:22). There is a story about a man who had three daughters, but he did not have money for a dowry. The old man feared that his daughters would grow old without husbands to take care of them (remember this was the early 300’s CE so…). Before going to bed one night the girls hung their stockings by the fire to dry after washing them. Nicholas snuck into their home and put gold into their stockings so that their father would not have to worry about the future of his children. I wonder...is this where the hanging stockings by the fireplace originates?
Other miracles have been attributed to Nicholas, but perhaps the greatest miracle is the spreading of generosity. In our tradition we do not venerate saints like the Othodox Church or the Roman Church, but we do study their lives and try to imitate the best of what they have given us. For Nicholas it was a generosity and care for those less fortunate. His life gave way to the legacy of Santa Clause. Join us tomorrow to look at the life of another Christmas saint, Sankta Lucia - Saint Lucy.
Yours in Christ,