It is St. Nicholas Day in Advent 2021. There are all sorts of customs attached to this day, stemming from ancient times when St. Nicholas was much venerated for being… a saint.
A saint who worked miracles.
St. Nicholas is often depicted with three oranges or balls. This is because of a miracle attributed to him. It seems a man had three daughters who needed husbands, but there was no money for dowries. As it is told, St. Nicholas threw three bags of gold into the house through a window and they landed inside stockings that were hung up to dry. Another frequent depiction involves him raising from the dead three boys who had been murdered and stuffed into pickling barrels.
Nicholas was much beloved of sailors, for he was invoked in time of need. Italian sailors venerated him so much that they swiped his bones and brought them to Bari.
It is also said that St. Nicholas punched the heretic Arius in face during the Council of Nicea.
Remember, bishops, Nicholas is a saint and heresy is bad.
A couple of years ago I was in Paris for this feast. I went to Saint-Nicolas du Chardonnet, of course. It was splendid. Here are a couple of moments.
Our Lady, Queen of the Clergy is venerated there.
What it sounded like. Communion.
On the way home I picked up a few things for supper… including…
And here’s the image I used for my streamed Mass…
And not Saint-Nicolas du Chardonnet…