Friday, December 04, 2015

Advent Calendar Day 6: Friday Five - St Nicholas

1.     St Nicholas is the patron saint of prostitutes because he gave poor girls money for a dowry so that they did not have to become prostitutes.  This is the origin of Christmas stockings. 
2.     Nicholas was ordained priest by his uncle, also called Nicholas.
3.     Nicholas was one of the Bishops at the Council of Nicaea (325) and signed the Nicene Creed.

4.     Unusually for saints of the time, Nicholas was not martyred.  He was acclaimed a saint because of the quality of his life.

5.     Nicholas’ was buried in Myra (where he was bishop).  However, his relics are no longer there, having been taken to two or three differed places: to Bari (sailors, claiming to be following instructions from the saint himself, took them there to escape Muslim invaders); to Vienna (Viennese sailors gathered what was left of Nicholas from Myra during the first Crusade); and to Thomastown, Co. Kilkenny (allegedly brought there by crusading Normans).  The relics in Bari and Vienna belong to the same skeleton.  No one believes the Irish connection, except the residents of Thomastown!

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