Friday, December 6, 2013

Optional Memorial of St. Nicholas, bishop

This is the true St. Nicholas Day, celebrating that Turkish bishop who generously gave to the poor and is an intercessor for financial problems. Look Catholic Culture for information about St. Nick, including activities to do with the kids.

I love the details you can find there.
Patron: against imprisonment; against robberies; against robbers; apothecaries; bakers; barrel makers; boatmen; boot blacks; boys; brewers; brides; captives; children; coopers; dock workers; druggists; fishermen; grooms; judges; lawsuits lost unjustly; longshoremen; maidens; mariners; merchants; murderers; newlyweds; old maids; parish clerks; paupers; pawnbrokers; perfumeries; perfumers; pharmacists; pilgrims; poor people; prisoners; sailors; scholars; schoolchildren; shoe shiners; spinsters; students; thieves; travellers; unmarried girls; watermen; Greek Catholic Church in America; Greek Catholic Union; Bari, Italy; Fossalto, Italy; Duronia, Italy; Portsmouth, England; Greece; Lorraine; Russia; Sicily.

Symbols: Three children in a trough or tub; three golden balls on a book; six golden balls; three golden apples; three loaves; three purses or bags of gold; anchor; ship; Trinity symbol on a cope; angel; small church; three balls;
Often Portrayed As: Bishop with three children in a tub at his feet; Bishop calming a storm; bishop holding three balls; bishop holding three bags of gold; bishop with three children.
Much more about St. Nicholas also may be found at the excellent St. Nicholas Center site. It can be incredibly busy this time of year, just so you know. They have many images and lots of great info.
Was St. Nicholas a priest?

Scholars believe Nicholas was one of only three persons to be selected to be a bishop without prior ordination (the others are Saint Ambrose and Saint Severus). He was most likely a monk, a lay brother. Before being consecrated as a bishop, Nicholas would have been ordained to the offices of deacon and priest, though he would not have served as such.
Jean Poyer, Prayer Book of Anne de Bretagne
Also, Recta Ratio has some great info and wonderful pictures including those from American Culture (of Santa, natch, not St. Nick).

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