Let Your Generosity Shine — Like St. Nicholas!
In pictures, he often has a long beard and a red hat. It’s said that he brings treats to children in December. Sounds like … St. Nicholas! But who is he really?
St. Nicholas lived about 300 years after Jesus. His wealthy parents died when Nicholas was a teenager, leaving him all their money. Nicholas remembered what Jesus said: “Go, sell what you have and give to the poor.” So he gave all his money to the poor, sick, and suffering. Nicholas loved Jesus and wanted to dedicate his life to him. He became the bishop of Myra, an ancient city in what is now the country of Turkey.
Many stories have been told about Nicholas’ miracles, or wonders. It’s been said that he calmed the sea, saved children from harm, and even brought the dead back to life.
Here’s one famous story about his generosity:
Late one night, a man sat up worrying. What will I do? he thought. I have no money for my three daughters to get married. (In those days, young women couldn’t get married without a large sum of money called a dowry.) As the poor man began to sob, a mysterious bundle flew through an open window. It landed near his oldest daughter’s shoes. The man got up and opened it. Surprise! It was full of gold — more than enough for the girl to marry. The same thing happened the next night. Then, on the third night, the man discovered that it was Nicholas who’d been tossing the bundles. He tried to thank Nicholas, but the good bishop told him to thank God instead for life’s blessings.
Have you ever found treats in your shoes on the Feast of St. Nicholas? That’s a fun way to celebrate, but here’s another way: Share what you have with others, like Nicholas did. It’s a great way to celebrate, and an even better way to get ready for Jesus’ birth!
BONUS: Download this page in a PDF format with activities to help celebrate this feast day. Click here: CAT.Nov-Dec2018_LivingtheLiturgicalYear
Connie Clark is editor of Living Faith Kids, a quarterly magazine of daily Catholic devotions for children. To learn more, visit LivingFaithKids.com.
This article originally appeared in Catechist magazine in the November/December 2018 issue.
Image credit: hansslegers, istock