Saturday, December 01, 2007

Here comes Sinteklaas!

It is snowing heavily in the Twin Cities - here in Minnesota, that is. And all the little kids know it heralds the arrival of St. Nicholas, to prepare them for the feast of the Nativity of the Lord.

Art: Illumination of St. Nicholas restoring the three youths to life. Legend has it they were murdered and pickled in a barrel of brine. Hence St. Nicholas is venerated as the patron of children, in this case, abused and missing children.

Go here for a fun Sinterklaas resource.

4 comments:

  1. I forgot that he was indeed the patron saint of children. Nice to be reminded since all the abhorrent consumerism tends to cloud the many century old tradition of patronship.

    Because I'm a bit of a smart alec, in the rare occasions when the name "Sinterklaas" was spoken, quite naturally I would have to do my pranks and change it to "Stinkerklass." LOL!

    Tom

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  2. Tom - Cathy has a post that may interest you... it is about what St. Nick's assistant does with kids like you... LOL!

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  3. Hey, Terry, I have the best St. Nicholas memories in the world! I'm going to post them right before the feast so check it out! Oh, and the "space" in Winona in the pics on Stella B is actually THE CATHEDRAL down there! My sis went to school in Winona so we went to Mass one day there. I was so confused. The outside of the church was brilliant and beautiful, but the inside was...not so much. The "baptismal font" was the weirdest thing I've ever seen. The back of the church was turned into the front and you entered from the side. The whitest dudes you've ever seen were performing (along with the children's choir) some of the worst African-inspired songs I've ever heard. It's still being "renovated" but I don't know if the intended outcome is anything I'd be very proud of if I was responsible for it. I like Ray's suggestion of maintaining "custody of the eyes". I'm just not very good at it!

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  4. Let's not forget he's patron Saint of beer brewers! :) It is said that the children he found (and restored to life) were in a barrel. Brewers have long accepted that the barrel was a beer barrel, hence the connection! So while we leave some candy for the kiddies on St Nicholas's Day, moms and dads can kick back with a brewskie in honor of the Saint!

    He also used to collect monies to free Christian slaves, especially children; and there was a story of at least one poor man who did not have money for his daughter(s?)'s dowry, so he was about to put them into prostitution, when good ol' St Nick gifted them with the dowry money just in time. Hence he is Patron of children and brides as well, and that whole connection with him leaving gifts... :)

    Oh, and I know you know this because you know everything about the Saints, but just to add it: St Nicholas's relics still exude an oily substance known as "Manna de S. Nicolo" which is said to have miraculous healing powers. This is one of those strange, mystical things about our Saints/Faith that really amazes me.

    St. Nicholas, ora pro nobis!

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