Happy Saint Nicholas Day!

From oca.org :

Saint Nicholas, the Wonderworker, Archbishop of Myra in Lycia, is famed as a great saint pleasing unto God. … From his childhood, Nicholas thrived on the study of divine scripture; by day he would not leave church, and by night he prayed and read books, making himself a worthy dwelling place for the Holy Spirit.

There was a certain formerly rich inhabitant of Patara, whom St Nicholas saved from great sin. The man had three grown daughters, and in desperation he planned to sell their bodies so they would have money for food. The saint, learning of the man’s poverty and of his wicked intention, secretly visited him one night and threw a sack of gold through the window. With the money the man arranged an honorable marriage for his daughter. St Nicholas also provided gold for the other daughters, thereby saving the family from falling into spiritual destruction. In bestowing charity, St Nicholas always strove to do this secretly and to conceal his good deeds.

During his life, the saint worked many miracles. One of the greatest was the deliverance from death of three men unjustly condemned by the governor, who had been bribed. The saint boldly went up to the executioner and took his sword, already suspended over the heads of the condemned. The governor, denounced by St Nicholas for his wrong doing, repented and begged for forgiveness.

It is amazing to me that most of the holidays we celebrate didn’t start out as trivial, let’s-have-a-party kinds of deals. St. Nick (Santa Clause), for example, was a man who lived his life to take care of the poor and bring justice into the world. I think instead of putting candy in our little one’s shoes, we could celebrate Saint Nicholas Day by sending a little money to International Justice Mission, who, like St. Nicholas, works to free young women from sex trafficking.

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