It's Saint Nicholas Day!

St. Nicholas by James Christiansen

St. Nicholas is not only the subject of many legends, he is also the subject of a cantata composed by Benjamin Britten. A few years back a local choral group, including several parishioners, performed this piece in concert in Lexington: a great performance of a very fine work. The story of the cantata is, itself, a lesson in the life and legend of Nicholas and you can read about and listen to it here.

A little more research on my part reveals that St. Nicholas is the patron saint of these causes and people (fasten your seat belt!):
Against imprisonment, Against robberies, Against robbers, Apothecaries, Bakers, Barrel Makers, Boatmen, Boot Blacks, Boys, Brewers, Brides, Captives, Children, Coopers, Dock Workers, Druggists, Fishermen, Greece, Greek Catholic Church in America, Grooms, Judges, Lawsuits lost unjustly, Longshoremen, Maidens, Mariners, Merchants, Murderers, Newlyweds, Parish Clerks, Paupers, Pawnbrokers, Perfumers, Pharmacists, Pilgrims, Poor people, Portsmouth - England, Prisoners, Russia, Sailors, Scholars, Schoolchildren, Shoe Shiners, Sicily, Students, Thieves, Travelers, and Unmarried girls!
You can study the life of St. Nicholas here in icons and stories.

In some countries TODAY is the day for gift-giving, not December 25. So you might want to surprise a friend or family member with a little gift today. It doesn't need to be something you wrap in paper and ribbons. It might be a smile, a call, a note, a word, some time, an understanding heart, a helping hand, a simple thank-you-for-being-you!

And here's everything you ever wanted to know about St. Nicholas!


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