St. Nicholas: The Real Santa Claus St.

Nicholas Day ~ 6 December Advent Season
St. Nicolas was a third century bishop of Myra. He was known for his generosity and love of children. There are many stories associated with this great saint, one of the most well known being that of the poor man with three daughters. Because their father could not afford to give them dowries to marry, the daughters were destined to be sold into slavery. However, Bishop Nicholas came secretly at night and left three bags of gold to be used for their dowries, saving them from a terrible fate. He is known to have rescued many other children from calamity as well. St. Nicholas is the patron saint of children, of sailors and ships, of prisoners and the wrongly condemned. He is also patron of many different countries and cities. When we celebrate St. Nicholas Day, we are remembering a holy man whose life testified to the self-sacrifice and generosity of Christ that we are all called to imitate. It is an opportunity to focus on giving rather than receiving. Traditionally St. Nicholas’ feast day is celebrated by leaving special treats, such as nuts and oranges in stockings or shoes, amongst other things. For more information on St. Nicholas and how you can celebrate his feast day, www.stnicholascenter.org

Lucia: a Light in the Darkness St. We are also reminded that darkness will always give way to Light. In Sicily St. we recall this woman of God who remained faithful to Christ unto death. Celebrating St. In Sweden. visit http://penitents. When we celebrate St.html or http://www. St. Lucia was a fourth century virgin martyr. Sicilians have a special dish called cuccia they eat in honor of this day.com/saints/saintl01. For more information and recipes. the True Light of the World Who will dispel darkness. sacrificing her life to bear witness to His teachings. born in Sicily to wealthy parents. They rise early in the morning’s dark hours and serve coffee and saffron buns to their families.catholic-forum. young women dress as St. that though dark times will come. Lucia’s day ~ 13 December Advent Season St. Lucia’s day has long been a popular tradition in Sweden and in Sicily. they will be conquered and will end. Her name means “light” and she is the patroness of those with eye trouble or blindness and of clear vision. Lucia. clothed in white gowns and red sashes with candles and lingonberry wreaths on their heads.org/lucy. among many other things.htm . Lucia is remembered for her prayers that helped to end a famine with a miracle of wheat. Thus she is called the “Queen of Lights” and reminds us of the imminent coming of Christ. following which the days will lengthen – the victory of light over darkness. Lucia’s feast day is on the shortest day of the year (according to the Julian calendar). Lucia’s day.St.

For more.Madonna and Christ Child Christmas Day ~ 25 December First Day of the Christmas Season This image of this African Madonna and Child reminds us that our Faith crosses cultures and races.mafroma. Jesus came for us all. As we celebrate the birth of Christ. Images of the Madonna and Child with features of every race and people have been made to testify to this truth. and He gave His Mother to be our Mother.org/ndafrigb. visit: http://www.htm . we should remember that Mother Mary and Jesus are for all nations and peoples.

Melchior. On this day a special blessing of homes is given. We recall that we are also called to walk by Faith. came bearing gifts: gold.html . frankincense. asking these three saints to pray for all those who enter. When we celebrate Epiphany we remember those who traveled far by Faith. to worship This King. The year is marked above the doors of houses.: 20 + C + M + B + 06). the least we can do for One who gave all of Himself for us. “mystery plays” depicting parts of the liturgy were performed at the feast.The Three Wise Men: Come Let Us Adore Him Epiphany ~ 6 January Season of Epiphany On Epiphany we celebrate the coming of the three kings from the East to adore the Christ Child. visit http://www. Caspar. As these wise men brought their treasures to lie before Him. we bring our lives in self-gift. separated by the initials of the three wise men (e. For more on Epiphany. and in the Middle Ages.org/cyepiph. and Balthazar.g. and myrrh to honor the King of Kings. when Christ received His gifts. In many cultures small gifts or acts of kindness are given on each of the twelve days of Christmas (25 December – 5 January) and the primary gift exchange is done on Epiphany.cresourcei. following a star to worship the True King. A “King Cake” can be part of the festivities. Tradition tells us that the three “well-nigh” kings.

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