officestnicklitho.jpg FROM THE BARONIUS MISSAL: “The Bishop of Myra in Asia Minor is on of the most popular oriental saints. The spiritual and temporal needs of his flock were the first objext of his pastoral care. This worker of miracles died A.D. 342; his body was eventually enshrined at Bari in Italy.”

FROM THE THIRD NOCTURN OF THE FEAST (which my good, dead friend Fr. Joseph Waters, S.S.J., used as an example of the truth of the old French saying “he lies like a third nocturn”): “Nicholas was born in th famous city of Patara in Lycia. From infancy, he fasted [literally “abstained from his mother’s breast”] on Wednesday and Friday. He kept up this custom during the rest of his life. Having lost his parents when he was a young man, he gave all his goods to the poor. A noble example of his charity is seen in the fact that he secretly gave money sufficiently for a marriage dowry for three girls who were in great peril of falling into sin. After having made a pilgrimage to Palestine, inspired by God, he went to Myra , the metropolis of Lycia, which had lost its bishop by death, and with no dissent but with wondrous concord, he was selected by the provincial bishops. During his episcopate he proved himself a model of every virtue. Contrary to the edict of Diocletian and Maximian, he had preached the truth of the Christian faith, and he was cast into prison where he remained until Constantine became emperor. He took part in the Council of Nice where the Arian heresy was condemned. After he had returned to his see, he died a most holy death at Myra. His body was taken to Bari in Apulia, and is the object of universal veneration in that place.”

Here are some tips on how to celebrate St. Nicholas day.