6 December – St. Nicholas – varia

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…

Nicholas images.

And here’s the image I used for my streamed Mass…

And not Saint-Nicolas du Chardonnet…

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. Pingback: 6 December – St. Nicholas – varia – Via Nova Media

  2. acardnal says:

    Gorgeous singing you recorded in that clip. Sounds Eastern.

  3. Venerator Sti Lot says:

    A Blessed east of St. Nicholas to you, and thank you for this joyful variety of sight and sound! Fascinating, the various fresh-faced and venerably-bearded depictions.

    In the days of the Dutch underground church, Johannes Baptist Stalpaert van der Wiele (1579-1630) published collections of vernacular devotional songs for every Sunday of the year and for Saint’s Days, suited to sing to popular tunes. The early music group Camerata Trajectina recorded a selection of the Saint’s Days songs for a CD called Zingende Zwanen ( “Sacred songs of the Golden Age, contrafacta to Dutch texts of Johannes Stalpaert van der Wiele and Guillelmus de Swaen”, as their English Wikipedia article translates or describes it). The whole album, including selected verses of his St. Nicholas song, is available on a YouTube channel dedicated to them (Camerata Trjectina – Topic), and the CD booklet can be seen for free at the webshop of their website – with texts, but, sadly, without English translations .


  4. Woody says:

    A number of years ago I dropped in on Saint Nicolas as a tourist rather than for Mass and it was indeed impressive. Also of interest is the associated bookstore, the Librairie Saint Nicolas, which I also visited and was quite impressed with the amount of traditional Catholic literature on sale there that does not seem to have been translated into English, as well as a selection of traditional religious and right wing political magazines the likes of which one would not encounter in a Catholic bookstore in the US. The whole complex is quite a place.

  5. Kathleen10 says:

    Fr. Z you’ve seen interesting things all over the place. That recording is beautiful.
    And others have interesting things to add, and all I have to add is the Beach Boys gave me their drum sticks once after a concert. Actually they gave them to my neighbor, a little boy, and he gave them to me after I gave him 25 dollars.

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