This weekend St. Nicholas pays his annual visit to our children after the 10am Mass at St. Casimir’s in Buffalo, NY 14206. He comes to us as the real, greatest uncle of the north pole guy, he lives and intercedes in heaven for children all year long.
He comes to our Kaisertown Church with his legacy of protecting children, the poor, intercessor for the unmarried, brides, store owners, and prisoners with his profuse generosity. He far surpasses the once annual, drop Coca Cola capitalist elf.
As an adult, I fulfilled a life-long dream. It began with a child’s faith, reinforced by an Austrian friend and my Mom’s annual Dec 6th memorialization of the sainted bishop. These childhood practices culminated in my visit to Nicholas’ grave, in Bari, Southern Italy. [pic shows grave] Yes, despite the fact Catholic Crusaders stole his relics from Greece, St. Nicholas is the Santa (means “saint”) whose mortal remains have a grave, a place of rest, like every other human being.
Why? Because his is not a legend, a myth, a mere story, a marketing season sensation or shopping mall spectacle.
The Bishop Saint Nicholas actually lived 1600 years ago. He saved mischievous boys from the deathly wrath of an angry store manager.
He secretly delivered three young girls from being sold into slavery
After his death, he saved many a sailor at sea, and much, much more.
We need to teach our children about the original “Santa” and what he stands for. He’s their real, every-day protector, not just an elf-gift-giver. You can always believe in St. Nicholas and not fear losing belief in him like with the capitalist elf. Treat the latter as a cute story or fairy tale.
I annually enjoy watching Burl Ives version of “Rudolf the Red nose Reindeer.” I neither spend time believing in the myth nor go shopping. The Dutch call him the US Coke Cola version the “red man”, not the real thing.
The original SANTA will “stand up” in our Social Center after the 10am Mass Sunday, December 8, just two days after his feast day. He always comes with old world surprises and many interesting and inspiring stories, especially that of the “secret gift”. Shhh..hh.h….
Come greet reality and then enjoy a real beef-on-weck, Ciocia Broncia’s real homemade (not store bought) potato salad. Your kids won’t regret it, especially if they never met a saint. Neither will you.