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A Reflection on the True St. Nicholas

December 06, 2017

In a time where fiction is stronger than truth, it is important to note the true history of this great saint.

St. Nicholas Day, which is celebrated in the West on December 6 and December 19 by Eastern Christians following the Julian Calendar, has been long kept as both a holy day and a day of gift giving due to tales of the Saint’s uncommon generosity. Over the centuries, he has become a popular symbol of the Christmas season and inspired largely fictional depictions in the form of such characters as Sinterklass, Zinniklos, and Santa Claus.

Those knowledgeable of ecclesiastical history, however, will likely best remember St. Nicholas as the holy bishop of Mira in Lycia (the modern day Antalya Province in Turkey) who, at the First Ecumenical Council of Nicaea, became so angry at the arch-heretic Arius that he struck him on the face. Further details on Nicholas’s life comprise the third reading at Matins according to the 1962 Breviarium Romanum .

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