Monday, September 3, 2012

Memories of St. Nicolas of Myra, Bishop and Martyr

I just finished reading Wolfsbane and Mistletoe, which is an anthology of stories featuring better werewolves and Christmas. So it wasn't required element in the story,many of the stories ended up featuring Santa Claus. What really caught my attention was that, while many of the stories speculated about either the real Santa Claus or where the story Santa Claus to come from, only one story based their version of the story on St. Nicholas of Myra, in fact no other stories even mentioned him at all
I remember as a school child recognizing that the Santa in Santa Claus sounded like it might be part of a saint's name but not being able to figure out which saint was mentioned. Tracing it back only to a figure in Holland’s folk tradition and not to the saint whose saint day is December 6. Growing up in the Protestant home, I remember Santa Claus being treated as a pagan figure and not knowing anything about the bishop and martyr who was steadfast in his faith and a champion of orthodoxy.
It was not until recent years that I finally found out about this figure discovering of that funny floppy pointed hat with a puffball was traditional in the area around Myra and that the red and white Suit was based on bishops liturgical garments. It was only then that I found out about three gold balls he gave as dowries help destitute orphans and about the stores of them saving children's lives
I found this information on the Internet pretty easily once I figured out where to look. I think it says something about America sense of history and about the sense of the roots of their traditions that this information is so little-known. So did you know about Nicholas of Myra? Do you think the internet will help people explore history and tradition or make them even more focused on what’s now?
St. Nicolas

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