Stealing Saint Nick

December 6, 2012

The monks asked, “Surely you do not intend to take the saint’s remains to your own region? If so, we won’t allow it.” Saint Nicholas is the patron saint of sailors, and perhaps it was for the best that in 1087 the deckhands of Barri lifted his body against the monastics’ wishes and brought him back to their homeport. This is not the most edifying saga of the saint whose feast the Church celebrates today, but it is how he ended up under the care of the Dominicans. In 1951, a community of Dominican friars made the Basilica of Saint Nicholas in Bari their home. With help from the Angelicum in Rome the friars established an ecumenical center, motivated by the belief that Saint Nicholas is “everyone’s saint.” No doubt, many kids will face the big question, “Does Santa Claus exist?” Besides countless other patronages, Saint Nicholas is patron of children. He is a giver of gifts; of this there is no doubt. So while he may not be the source of that brand new game station or ipad he is surely the one who intercedes for us. During his life he gave bags of gold to pay for the dowries of a poor man’s three daughters. He also prevented the execution of men sentenced to death for a crime they did not commit. If you are interested in finding out more about this miracle worker please go to the website of the Dominicans of Bari here. It is a wealth of information!

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