Thursday, December 6, 2018

Gold in Our Shoes and the Coming Messiah

I was planning to write something after dinner, but it just occurred to me that I have to leave for choir practice in just over an hour, so I will be brief.

St. Nicholas of Myra
Jaroslav Čermák
Today is the feast day of St. Nicholas of Myra, who, unfortunately, has morphed into Jolly Old St. Nick. He was, however, a very real person, a bishop who was known for his defense against Arianism, and his generosity and good deeds. I don't have time to say much about him, but Gretchen Joanna has written a bit about him here.

There are many legends about St. Nicholas, which may or may not be 100% true, but which are surely underpinned by his real and renowned charity--charity both in the sense of giving to those in need, and the Christian charity of agape. One of these legends is that a man had three young daughters, but no money for their dowries, so as each one came of an age to marry, St. Nicholas threw a bag of gold coins into her window. 

It is the custom for children to leave out their shoes on the eve of December 6 so that St. Nicholas can fill them with goodies. When my children were young, I would give them candy: sometimes a candy cane, to remind them of his bishop's staff, a bag of gold foil-covered chocolate coins, and a small Santa ornament that looked as much as possible like St. Nicholas. I think that one time I found a tiny book about St. Nicholas, but I'm not sure. 

This year I was a little sad thinking about how there weren't any more little shoes in the house, so I fixed up a shoe for my husband. I gave him some chocolate coins, but they really aren't very tasty, so I also got him the kind of chocolate he really likes. My problem was that I forgot to do it last night, and only remembered when I saw Gretchen's post this morning, and he was already awake and reading in bed, but somehow I managed to sneak his shoe out without his knowing what I was doing.
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And another Advent hymn.


  1. I would like some chocolate in my shoe please!

  2. Well, bring it here, and I will give you some.


  3. I love St Nicholas! The story of the 3 bags of gold I believe to be very true indeed. He's helped me many times and at least 2x in my school years, I got unexpected money (once from a surprise bursary!) on his day. My friends have had things like this as well. He is very much loved.... in the Orthodox church every Thursday is dedicated to him, the only Saint to have this! (Well the Mother of God may have a day too each week, I can't remember at this precise moment!)

    1. Every Saturday in the Catholic Church is dedicated to the Blessed Mother. That is pretty amazing about St. Nicholas. I had no idea.