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A Prayer For The Memorial of Saint Nicholas of Myra

Popularly Known As Santa Claus

Saint Nicholas was a bishop in the city of Myra, which is in present day Turkey. Nicholas lived during the 4th century. According to some traditions, he was present at the Council of Nicaea (AD 325), which proclaimed Jesus as fully God, equal to the Father. Some accounts suggest Nicholas punched the priest Arius, acting in righteous anger against the heresy of Arius (which was that Jesus wasn't fully God).

Nicholas was known for his generosity, and according to one legend, he provided the dowry for three poor girls, secretly giving them the money necessary to get married (saving them from possibly resorting to prostitution). Legends like this form the basis of his connection to gift-giving. The modern cultural icon "Santa Claus" is loosely based on the life of Nicholas. His feast day is associated with popular customs like placing gifts in shoes, which children discover when they wake up that morning.

Christmas mantle display with Santa Claus

The Prayer
We thank you
for the witness
of your servant St. Nicholas,
who courageously stood for the truth.
Give us the strength
to imitate his generosity
and concern for others,
so that we would always
put the needs of others,
before those of ourselves.
We pray in Jesus name, Amen.

Updated 12-04-2017

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