Jolly Old Saint Nick

Deacon Scott Maentz Saints

Today is the feast day of Santa Claus, or as I like to refer to him Saint Nicholas. St. Nicholas was a bishop and confessor for the faith. There are two characteristics of St. Nicholas that I believe Christians should imitate, those being his generosity and his strong faith. Two famous accounts from the life of St. Nicholas may help illustrate the point.

The first story recounts three young women whose family was so poor that they could not afford the dowries required at the time for a wedding. Upon learning this, St. Nicholas secretly provided the money. This story is the basis for our modern Christmas tradition of giving gifts. The generosity of this saint is one to be imitated year round.

The second story is set at the Council of Nicea, of which St. Nicholas attended as a bishop. At some point during the council, St. Nicholas is said to have lost his temper with the priest Arius who argued against the divinity of Jesus. St. Nicholas proceeded to punch Arius in the face. My advice to Christians today is not that we turn to violence to promote the truths of our faith, but that we do pray for the same zeal St. Nicholas possessed when it comes for standing up for the truth.

My hope is that this season of Advent provides all of us the opportunities for being both people of generosity and faith.