Archive for the ‘St. Nicholas of Bari’ Category

St. Nick in Time

December 26, 2008

Now St. Nicholas makes Time magazine’s website!  The full  St. Nicholas timeline there includes this:

circa 280 A.D.Nicholas is born in Patara, Lycia — part of modern day Turkey. Like others of the Emperor Constantine generation, he enters a life of religious servitude. He works his way up from abbot to the archbishop of Myra — a nearby town — and gets his first nickname: Nicholas of Myra.

325 A.D. Nicholas attends the First Council of Nicaea and helps create the Nicene Creed, which millions upon millions of Sunday School children will later memorize. Tip: children who mention this in their annual letter to Santa receive an average of 3 extra toys.

330 A.D. When a father doesn’t have enough money for his three daughters’ dowries, dooming them, apparently, to forced prostitution, Nicholas leaves three bags of gold outside the girls’ home (or, according to a different version of the story, in their shoes) to keep them from having to pull an Ashley Alexander Dupre. This is one of the few stories based on some sort of historical record and it explains Nicholas’ reputation as a gift-giver.

320-340 A.D. Nicholas becomes famous for performing great miracles. Once he saves a ship from a terrible storm by calming the waves. Another time, he flies through the air to return a kidnapped boy. And most impressive of all, he discovers a triple homicide and brings the victims — three children who had been chopped into bits and stored in pickle jars — back to life. Compared to this, making an Xbox by hand is probably child’s play.

Dec. 6, 343 A.D. Nicholas dies and is buried in Myra.

6th Century A.D. Nicholas becomes a saint. The Catholic Church had not yet regulated its canonization procedure so it’s hard to tell exactly when he is sainted. Nicholas is a very popular saint, especially in Europe. He becomes the patron of more objects and places than any other saint (except maybe Mary), although his primary role is as a guardian of children.

1087 Some Italian sailors steal Nicholas’ remains and transfer them to Bari, Italy. Nicholas likes his new home — well, he doesn’t complain — and his tomb becomes a major pilgrimage site.

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It must be St. Nick

December 22, 2008

A nice article on St. Nicholas is today’s “featured story” at Religion News Service. 

“St. Nicholas was a real person. Not a fairy, not someone who’s flying through the sky with reindeer, but an actual person who lived and worked and died and had a full life,” said Canon Jim Rosenthal. “He had a Christian life because he was actually a bishop, a pastor.”

Full article here.