Saint Nicholas Generously Gave To The Poor - December 6
- Thursday, December 06, 2012
Greek Orthodox history tells of Nicholas being born to a wealthy, elderly couple in what is now Turkey in the year 280 AD. When his parents died, he generously gave to the poor. Upon hearing of a merchant who went bankrupt and that creditors were about to take his daughters, Nicholas threw money in the window at night to provide a dowry for the daughters to get married, thus saving them from a life of prostitution. When the father discovered who gave the money, Nicholas made him promise not to tell, inspiring the custom of secret gift-giving on the anniversary of Nicholas' death, which was DECEMBER 6, 343 AD. Nicholas became Bishop of Myra, was imprisoned under Emperor Diocletian's persecution and was freed by Constantine. He attended the Council of Nicaea, helped write the Nicene Creed and preached against the fertility goddess "Diana" at Ephesus, resulting in her temple being torn down. In the 12th century, Muslims Seljuks invaded, killed Christians, turned churches into mosques and desecrated graves of Christian Saints. The bones of Saint Nicholas were shipped to the city of Bari in southern Italy for protection, thus introducing the traditions of Saint Nicholas to Western Europe. The Dutch, who settled New York, pronounced Saint Nicholas "Sant Nicklaus."
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