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Wednesday 2 December 2015

St Nicholas

St. Nicholas was born in Asia Minor.   He was named bishop of Myra, a poor and run-down diocese.   When his wealthy parents died, he gave his wealth to the poor and devoted himself to the conversion of sinners.
Once he heard that a man who had become very poor intended to abandon his three daughters to prostitution because he could not afford a dowry for them to be married.   Nicholas, the story goes, on three occasions threw a bag of gold through the window into the room of the sleeping father.   His daughters soon were married.   Later the father came to Nicholas, fell at his feet and said, "Nicholas, you are my helper.   You have delivered my soul and my daughters' souls from hell."
This story and his many other works of charity led to the tradition of giving presents on Nicholas' feast day and at Christmas in his name.   The name ‘Santa Claus’, used widely in mainland Europe, evolved from his name.

Nicholas died at Myra in 350 AD.   His popularity, already great, increased when his relics were brought to Bari, Italy, in 1087.   Both the Eastern and Western churches honour him.   St. Nicholas is the patron saint of Russia, Greece, Apulia, Sicily, and Lorraine.   He is regarded as the special patron of children.
St Nicholas is the patron saint of our church here in Chearsley along with St Nicholas in Nether Winchendon.  Come along to Nether Winchendon church on Sunday at 10am to celebrate our Patronal Festival.