St. Nicholas was a bishop in the third century who was known for his kindness and generosity. His parents died when he was young but left him a big inheritance. St. Nicholas came from a prayerful family who took their faith very seriously.
When his parents died, St. Nicholas reflected on Jesus’ words of “Give everything you have to the poor”. Inspired by this, he gave away everything he had to help the poor, sick, and needy.
There are many stories attributed to him which contributed to him being known as the patron saint of children. One of the most told tales is about a poor family.
The legend says that St. Nicholas learned about a poor man with three daughters. The man needed to provide dowries for his daughters to get married. In those days, if that didn’t occur, the daughters likely would have become slaves.
Knowing this, on three separate occasions, St. Nicholas is believed to have tossed a bag of gold through the family’s window.
This was enough to cover all three of the dowries. The bags of gold are said to have landed in shoes or stockings left by the window. This is where the tradition of leaving your shoes out on his feast day, December 6th, originates.
This is just one of the stories attributed to St. Nicholas’ kindness and generosity. He is believed to have helped other children and sailors that encountered dangerous situations. You can read more about him at the St. Nicholas Center website: www.stnicholascenter.org .
Fun Activity Idea
Ask your parents to help you celebrate the feast of St. Nicholas. Before you go to bed the night before, decide together which shoe to set outside your bedroom door. Leave it in a visible spot. If St. Nicholas is nearby, he may leave a small treat for you to find in the morning. Make sure to ask permission from your parents first—as the Saint would not want to dishonor your parent’s wishes.