Posted by: frroberts | December 5, 2015

Interesting facts about St. Nick

12_12_06_Nicholas

A tip of the biretta to Fr. Z for the image.

Tomorrow the Church celebrates the feast of Saint Nicholas the Wonderworker (270-343). We all know that Nicholas had a reputation for generosity and gift-giving. It is less widely known that he was zealous for doctrinal purity.

At the Council of Nicea (325) he lost his temper while listening to the heretic Arius expound the position that Jesus was a semi-god, not fully divine, nor fully human. Nicholas, who held the faith of the Church that Jesus is true God and true man, rose and proceeded to give Arius a beating in front of the entire assembly for his blasphemous words.

The Emperor Constantine, who was looking to find a compromise with the Arians, had Nicholas imprisoned and degraded from his episcopal dignity in response to the incident. Later that evening Jesus and Mary appeared to Nicholas in his cell. Miraculously, they returned to him the two symbols of being a bishop at the time, the Gospel book and the pallium. The Emperor was left with no choice but to restore Nicholas to his office.

The story gives a whole new meaning to the naughty and nice list, doesn’t it?

In the traditional icon below we can see our Lord and our Lady returning to Nicholas his episcopal insignia:

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