Happy Feast of St. Nicholas! In many countries this morning, children will be racing to check their shoes and stockings to see what this jolly saint left them. Here in the Silva household, the kids know that mom and dad leave them a treat in their stockings. We have traditionally given them fruit, coloring book and a video to share. We decided this year though that we were going to start a Hallmark ornament collection for each of them. Oh, we also go out on his feast day and chop down our Christmas tree (that is probably what we are doing while you are reading this).
We take seriously devotion to St. Nicholas in our house. He, with St. Benedict, are the dual patrons of our household. I have been researching St. Nicholas since 1995. It started because a good friend and his wife had all these questions about St. Nicholas. Since that time, I have passionately been researching anything and everything about him to get to the truth of who he was and how it connects with our Catholic tradition. In an effort to saving you some time, I suggest using the information provided by The St. Nicholas Center. While I do not agree with all of their opinions and commentary, the foundation has collected an amazing amount of information, activities and customs.
As we draw closer to Christmas, we will investigate more about the Santa Claus, American customs and their place in our Catholic tradition. I thought though we could start just by listing what he is the patron of: Apothecaries (pharmacists), Armed forces police, Bakers, Bankers, Bargemen, Barrel makers, Boatmen, Boot blacks & shoe shiners, Bottlers, Boys, Brides, Brewers, Businessmen, Butchers, Button makers, Candle makers, Captives, Chandlers (suppliers of ships), Children, Choristers, Citizens, Clergy, Clerks, Cloth trade & merchants, Coopers (barrel makers), Corn measurers & merchants, Court recorders, registrars, clerks, Dock workers, longshoremen, Drapers, Embalmers, Ferrymen, Firefighters, Fishermen, Florists, Grain dealers & merchants, Grocers, Grooms, Haberdashers, , Infants, Infertile, Judges, Lace makers & sellers, Lawsuits lost unjustly, Lawyers, Lemko people, Ukraine, Linen merchants, Longshoremen, Lovers, Maidens, Mariners, Merchants, Military intelligence, Millers, Murderers, Navigators, Newlyweds, Notaries, Oil merchants, Orphans, Packers, Parish clerks, Paupers, Pawnbrokers, Peddlers, Perfumeries, perfumers, Pharmacists, Pirates, Poets, Poor people, Preachers, Prisoners, Prostitutes, Pupils, Ribbon weavers, Robbers & thieves, Schoolchildren, Sailors & mariners, Scholars & students, Seed merchants, Shearmen, Shipwreck victims, Shipwrights and gaugers, Ships carpenters, Shoemakers, Shopkeepers, Skippers, Soldiers, Spice-dealers, Spinsters, Tanners, Teachers, Thieves, Timber merchants, Travelers, Unjustly condemned, Unmarried men, Unmarried women, Virgins, Watermen, Weavers, Wine porters, merchants & vendors, Women – desirous of marrying, and Wood turners…to name a few.
Hope you have a fantastic feast day!