St. Nicholas Day

Today is celebrated in many part of the world as St. Nicholas Day. On this day it is well known that St. Nicholas fills the shoes of good children with candy and small gifts, and puts coal or switches in the shoes of bad children.
The real story of St. Nicholas begins in the year 270 AD in the roman city called Patara, which today would be located in southern turkey. Nicholas grew up in a wealthy family and was raised as a devout Christian. When his parents died during an early epidemic, he used his inheritence to help the needy. His benevolence was later formally recognized when he was made bishop of a nearby city called Myra. Over the years his list of deeds grew along with his legend.
One such legend involves a nobleman who suddenly became destitute. The man had no other choice but to sell his three daughters into prostitution. When St. Nicholas heard of this drastic action, he covertly threw three bags of gold through the mans window, which gave the girls the proper dowries for marriage. This is just one of many stories of how St. Nicholas was able to save people from financial ruin and starvation.
The legend of St. Nicholas is so great, that in parts of Russia and Greece (where he is the patron Saint of children, unmarried girls, charities, and more) you can still here the expression: “If God dies, at least we will still have St. Nicholas.”
Oh that Christians in the world today would be know for such great charitable acts. Maybe, just maybe Santa Claus (st. nicholas) can once again be a source of inspiration rather than consumption in the world today.
Greetings from Hungary en route to Kosovo on this day; where i’ve already had some sweets put in my shoes by a passing st. nicholas who looked amazingly like santa. I must be doing better than i thought!
jc
(sources taken from all over: please forgive typing errors…)