Monday, December 06, 2004

Oh, who loves Nicholas the Saintly,
Oh, who serves Nicholas the Saintly,
Him will Nicholas receive,
And give help in time of need,
Holy Father Nicholas!

Today is the feast of St. Nicholas, Bishop of Myra, and the patron of children, of Russia, the Ruthenian Byzantine Rite Church, sailors, and much else. In the middle ages even robbers took him as their patron, although that's one patronage that never quite got the ecclesiastical seal of approval.

St Nicholas also participated in the Council of Nicea. One story has it that he was expelled from the Council for giving Arius, he of heresy fame, a punch in the nose. "Pastoral" councils, it seems, came later.