Thursday, December 06, 2012

Assuming the Mantle

It's that time of year again...

The 6th of December is the feast day of my namesake - Saint Nicholas of Myra. Of course most of you will know him much better under a different name - Santa Claus. I've often quipped that Santa is very real and exists all over the planet wherever there is a Christian going by the name of Nicholas (Santa derives from the word saint which in the non canonical sense simply means any follower of  Jesus Christ and Claus derives from Nicholas).  So if you apply the laws of lateral thinking... I *AM* Santa Claus.

Please keep this secret between us.

St. Nicholas is a patron saint of a wide variety of odd and peculiar things such causes as:

Greece, Russia, The Netherlands, Liverpool, Portsmouth, against imprisonment, against robberies/robbers, apothecaries, archers, bakers, barrel makers, boys, brewers, brides, captives, children, dock workers, fishermen, grooms ,judges, lawsuits lost unjustly, maidens, merchants, penitent murderers, newlyweds, old maids, parish clerks, paupers, pawnbrokers, pharmacists, pilgrims, poor people, prisoners, sailors, scholars, schoolchildren, shoe shiners, spinsters, students, penitent thieves, travellers, unmarried girls...

... some say he is even the patron saint of prostitutes (this is down to the legend of him depositing wedding dowries into the household of a poor man who could not afford to have his daughters married... and who without the generosity of Nicholas would have watched helplessly as his children were forced into prostitution to avoid becoming destitute).

As you can see that's quite a list and it is by no means a complete one.

St. Nicholas of Myra - from an image in my home town church.
I've often joked at this time of year that seeing as Nicholas is the patron saint of unmarried girls/women desirous of marriage that such women need look no further than me on this day, if they want an answer to their prayers.

Well he is my namesake... you can't blame me for taking advantage of the fact.

However, this year I really want to try and do something real - something higher, nobler and to the point of why Nicholas is celebrated. Unlike Nicholas I don't have a vast supply of wealth at my disposal to drop down people's chimneys or through their windows, but there is one thing of worth I *can* do...

So here it is:

Have another little peek at that list above. Do you fall into one of the categories above? Do you know someone else who does? If that's you, please comment below or message me using the contact form and I as a Nicholas and non canonical saint will pray for them... or you. I don't care how long the list gets, I'll do it. I'll assume the mantle... I will be St. Nicholas - just for the day... and who knows if I can show some discipline, maybe even longer.

Coincidentally tonight as I write this, reports are coming in of a cargo ship sinking in the North Sea with the loss of four sailors and seven still missing at sea. I think prayers for all involved in this unfolding tragedy are a perfect place to start.

So the only question I want to ask is:
  • Can I pray for you?

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