Lifelong CatechesisForming Catholic identity across generations
The twofold character of Advent calls us to prepare for the remembering of the Word made Flesh at Christmas, and directs us to wait with alertness for Jesus’ second coming.
Nicholas was born of wealthy parents and grew up to become a priest, and later a bishop. He is known as a generous man and has a reputation as a giver of anonymous gifts. His popularity spread throughout Europe after his death.
The custom of giving gifts to children in St. Nicholas' name originated in Germany, Switzerland, and the Netherlands. Dutch Protestants who settled in New Amsterdam brought the tradition of St. Nicholas to America, though by this time he had been converted from a popular saint into a Nordic magician (Saint Nicholas became Sint Klaes, then Santa Claus).
This saint was known for his charity, which is the key characteristic in the many legends which exist about him. These stories tell us not only to be charitable, but to seek justice for those who would otherwise become victims.