Teen Time: St. Nicholas was Christian (December 5th)

The Feast of St. Nicholas is December 6th. Many do not know that St. Nicholas was a Christian bishop in the early 4th century.

St. Nicholas was a bishop, which means he was the senior teaching elder in his community of Myra (modern Turkey) and possibly surrounding areas. Bishops were not administrators at that time in history they way they are today.

We recognize December 6th because that was the date of his death.

He was associated with 3 miracles to make him an official Saint in the church, but in the 1970’s the Roman Catholic Church decided the evidence for those miracles wasn’t very reliable. St. Nicholas didn’t stop being a Saint, the church simply decided they would no longer make December 6th a day of obligation, which is a special worship day where people are expected to attend church.

As the story goes, Martin Luther (1500’s) did not like the idea of celebrating Saints, so he told all of his congregations and followers that the gifts at Christmas were from the Christkindl, which is German for Christ Child. Over time those English speakers who heard this German term Anglicized it, making it Kris Kringle. So the historical irony is that Martin Luther’s desire backfired and he instead reinforced the connection between St. Nicholas and baby Jesus.

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