Sunday, December 25, 2022

Saint Nicholas & Origins of Secret Gift-Giving


Christmas Christianity Greek Orthodox St. Nicholas Santa Clause gift giving charity tradition

“Eighty-six years have I have served him, and he has done me no wrong. How can I blaspheme my King and my Savior?”

-declared the aged Polycarp, a disciple of the Apostle John, as he stood in 155 AD before the Roman judge who ordered him to deny his faith or be killed.

The church had been born into a one-world anti-Christian government -- the Roman Empire, and experienced three centuries of severe government persecutions.

One of the notable church leaders who was persecuted in the late 3rd century was St. Nicholas.

St. Nicholas is the most renowned saint in Greek Orthodox tradition, as St. Peter is in Catholic tradition.

St. Nicholas was as important to Greeks and Russians as St. Patrick was to the Irish; or as St. Boniface (Winifred) to the Germans, or St. Olga to Kyiv, or St. Genevieve to Paris.

Greek Orthodox tradition tells of Saint Nicholas being born around AD 280, the only child of a wealthy, elderly couple who lived in Patara, Asia Minor (present-day Turkey).

When his parents died in a plague, Nicholas inherited their wealth.

Nicholas generously gave to the poor, but he did so anonymously, as he wanted the glory to go to God.  (more...)

Saint Nicholas & Origins of Secret Gift-Giving

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