The Liturgical Year - Advent Volume
By: Dom Gueranger +Imprimatur 1927
Bishop of Myra, and Confessor
Nicholas was born of a noble family at Patara, in the province of Lycia. His birth was the fruit of his parents' prayers. Evidences of his great future holiness were given from is very cradle. For when he was an infant, he would take his food only once on Wednesdays and Fridays, and then not till evening; whilst on a all other day he frequently took the breast: he kept up this custom of fasting during the rest of hi life. Having lost his parents when he was a boy, he gave all his goods to the poor. Of is Christian kindheartedness there is the following noble example. One of his fellow-citizens had three daughters; but being too poor to obtain them an honorable marriage, he was minded to abandon them to a life of prostitution. Nicholas having come to know the case, went to the house during the night, and threw in by the window a sum of money sufficient for the dower of one of the daughters; he did the same a second and a third time; and thus the three were married to respectable men.
Having given himself wholly to the service of God, he set out for Palestine, that he might visit and venerate the holy places. During this pilgrimage, which he made by sea, he foretold to the mariners on embarking,though the heavens were then serene and the sea tranquil, that they would be overtaken by a frightful storm. In a very short time the storm arose. All were in the most imminent danger, when he quelled it by his prayers. His pilgrimage ended, he returned home, giving to all men example of the greatest sanctity. He went, by an inspiration from God, to Myra, the metropolis of Lycia, which had just lost its bishop by death, and the bishops of the province had come together for the purpose of electing a successor. Whilst they were holding council for the election, they were told by a revelation from heaven, that they should choose him who, on the morrow, should be the first to enter the church, his name being Nicholas. Accordingly, the requisite observations were made, when they found Nicholas to be waiting at the church door: they took him, and, to the incredible delight of all, made him the bishop of Myra. During his episcopate, he never flagged in the virtues looked for in a bishop; chastity, which indeed he had always preserved, gravity, assiduity in prayer, watchings, abstinence, meekness in exhortation, severity in reproving.
He befriended widows and orphans by money, by advice, and by every service in his power. So zealous a defender was he of all who suffered oppression, that, on one occasion, three tribunes having been condemned by the emperor Constantine, who had been deceived by calumny, and having heard of the miracles wrought by Nicholas, they recommended themselves to his prayers, though he was living at a very great distance from that place; the saint appeared to Constantine, and looking angrily upon him, obtained from the terrified emperor their deliverance. Having, contrary to the edict of Diocletian and Maximian, preached in Myra the truth of the Christian faith, he was taken up by the servants of the two emperors. He was taken off to a great distance and thrown into prison, where he remained until Constantine, having become emperor, ordered his release, and the saint returned to Mrya. Shortly afterwards, he repaired to the Council which was being held at Nicaea; there he took part with the three hundred and eighteen fathers in condemning the Arian heresy. Scarcely had he returned to his see, than he was taken with the sickness of which he soon died. Looking up to heaven, and seeing angels coming to meet him, he began the psalm, 'In thee, O Lord, have I hoped;' and having come to those words, 'Into thy hands I commend my spirit,' his soul took its flight to the heavenly country. His body, having been translated to Bari in Apulia, is the object of universal veneration. Visit Myra and check out the area that St. Nicholas was from along with a few authentic artwork pieces!
This weeks Friday Fare …. Food for the Soul
Pictorial Lives of the Saints + Imprimatur John, Cardinal McCloskey
ST. NICHOLAS, the patron Saint of Russia, was born toward the end of the third century. His uncle, the Archbishop of Myra in Lycia, ordained him priest, and appointed him abbot of a monastery; and on the death of the archbishop he was elected to the vacant see. Throughout his life he retained the bright and guileless manners of his early years, and showed himself the special protector of the innocent and the wronged. Nicholas once heard that a person who had fallen into poverty intended to abandon his three daughters to a life of sin. Determined, if possible, to save their innocence, the Saint went out by night, and, taking with him a bag of gold, flung it into the window of the sleeping father and hurried off. He, on awaking, deemed the gift a godsend, and with it dowered his eldest child. The Saint, overjoyed at his success, made like venture for the second daughter; but the third time as he stole away, the father, who was watching, overtook him and kissed his feet, saying: "Nicholas, why dost thou conceal thyself from me? Thou art my helper, and he who has delivered my soul and my daughters' from hell." St. Nicholas is usually represented by the side of a vessel, wherein a certain man had concealed the bodies of his three children whom he had killed, but who were restored to life by the Saint. He died in 342. His relics were translated in 1807, to Bari, Italy, and there, after fifteen centuries, "the manna of St. Nicholas" still flows from his bones and heals all kinds of sick. Reflection
.—Those who would enter heaven must be as little children, whose greatest glory is their innocence. Now, two things are ours to do: first, to preserve it in ourselves, or regain it by penance; secondly, to love and shield it in others.
Activities, Resources & Giveaway!
Some fun things to do! Listen to! Eat!
St. Nicholas is known for his charity, second only to St. Vincent De Paul. He is also the patron of Children, of Russia, of Widows and Orphans. A miracle worker as well and a great example for all of us. In Honor of this most great Saint, whom God bestowed so many gifts on we would like to do another give away, featuring some books for children, whom he loved so much, as well as a couple of Christmas items, for Him whom he loved more than children, our Lord Jesus Christ, who is to come to us in just 23 short days!!
To view the prizes listed below please click on the following links: Catholic Christmas Cards (red or blue set choice) Anecdotes and Sermonette's for Children's Mass First Communion Days Christmas Stationary
We had a lovely feast day on November 1st, the kids could hardly contain themselves. They were very anxious to share our special day with Papa, who had taken the day off work, and also their two Grandma's who joined us for our Heavenly Feast. Along with plenty of treats and costumes they played Pin the Tale on St. Anthony's Donkey, Guess Who Saint's Version and St. Nicholas Memory. Their favorite was when Papa joined pin the tale on the donkey and pinned St. Peter instead of the donkey! From our family to yours, we pray you had a most blessed Feast Day!
(c) Sanctus Simplicitus ; Saint Peter, Saint Faith and Saint Paul
Soul Cakes, say a prayer for the poor souls! (Vegan Apple Cider donuts, click for recipe.)
St. Peter the Rock, Candy
St. Anthony's Tiny Tonsures (Whole Wheat, diary free Chocolate Donuts, click for recipe.)
St. Paul's Gospel Snacks (Fig newtons with edge cut off and marshmallow cross... frosting would work MUCH better :) )
St. Anne's Lily Sandwhiches (Click for recipe.)
St. Patrick's Colcanon Puffs
St. Isadore's Garden Mix (Carmel Corn, candy corn & pumpkins, mixed nuts. Click for NO CORN SYRUP carmel sauce recipe.)
St. Michael's Deviled Eggs
St. Michael's Angel Hair Pasta Salad
St. Patrick's Mint Shamrocks (Melted mint chips in shamrock molds)
Not pictured: St. Lucy's Mulled Wassail (for the adults) and Adam and Eve's Apple Cider.
Quickly here is the rest of our Feast Day celebration :) Someone commented on our Book Give Away about how I do it all. Here is the proof that I shoot high and don't always hit what I'm aiming for!To see how our morning went view part 1 of our St. Nicholas Feast Day Celebration. The kids woke up to lots of treats, the oldest was up quiet early. He spend the morning retelling the story of how he woke up, when, who was up and what he found. I think he was just a little excited!The youngest had never seen Christmas lights before so she was super excited about those. And the middle little guy wanted to know all of the details about how it go there, who made it and who brought it and how they got in!
For breakfast we had Bulgarian Rice with Dried Fruit. It was listed under the dessert section at the St. Nicholas Center, you will find the recipe here.It sounded like something we would normally eat and so I thought I would give it a try. The kids were not a big fan... even the Bulgarian princess (despite the picture to the left!). But I think it was mostly the dried cherries, they were kind of tart and over powering. Maybe raisins instead next time! I changed up the recipe, as anyone that knows me will tell you, I can't make a recipe straight. I made it in the pressure cooker so it only took 3 minutes on high pressure and we added a bit of cinnamon and soy milk, and swapped out the sugar for some maple syrup.
For lunch, since I didn't really have any plans for this I used the St. Nicholas Center's Miter cookie cutter and made Miter Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwiches and then they had their orange that St. Nicholas left them. It's amazing how excited kids get over a sandwich they usually eat every day when it is in a different shape!
The afternoon was spent playing games online at the St. Nicholas Center's Kids area. Crafting a St. Nicholas ornament and a stand up St. Nicholas. We also listened to and sang some St. Nicholas songs. The older two played St. Nicholas memory with their Uncle when he stopped by for a visit. What we didn't do! We never got our St. Nicholas Gingerbread cookies made but WE DID read A Bakers Dozen along with all of our other St. Nicholas books. We also didn't get our Miter hats made as I wasn't prepared with a 24' inch square of red paper, we didn't even get the little version done as there was just too much to do. For dinner we ended up having St.Nicolas du Pelem Pork with Mustard & Apples.
I was really trying to go with a Bulgarian theme since we have ties to Bulgaria but I couldn't find any carp around here for the Bulgarian dish, and I couldn't find any decent looking white fish to make a semi-attempt at Baba Slavaka's Palnen
. The pork was pretty good, though for our family I think it was a little heavy on the mustard which is easily fixed. It was served with buttered red potatoes and just our regular ol' stand-by green salad.For dessert we just worked on the treats that St. Nicholas brought and drank some Slemp (Dutch children's drink made from milk... non dairy milk in our case) and the adults tried some Bishop's Wine which was like Sangria but warmed up. I think I preferred the child's drink, it just fit the cookies better!Praying that you all had a holy and blessed Feast of St. Nicholas! Now we look forward to the Feast of the Immaculate Conception! Do you have any special traditions on this day? Please share them in the comment section below!!
I had my littlest assistant help me draw names. She picked three the first time so we put them back in without opening them up. The second time she also drew three, so three it is. Good thing I have a spare book! So we have THREE winners :)
And the winners of The Baker's Dozen Giveaway are...
Lena, Wendy and Colleen
I'll be contacting you to arrange the shipping of your books. My little helper loved the hat that we put the paper's in and spent all evening running around wearing it and beaming. I think she is a rather cute little helper ;) Thank you to everyone who entered the give-a-way! May we all see life as the Baker Vanamsterdam learned to see it... where God has always provided us with an abundance to give!
Glorious Saint Nicholas, my special patron, from thy throne in glory where thou dost enjoy the presence of God, turn thine eyes in pity upon me and obtain for me from our Lord the graces and helps that I need in my spiritual and temporal necessities.
Be mindful, likewise, O glorious and saintly Bishop, of our Sovereign Pontiff, of Holy Church, and of all Christian people. Bring back to the right way of salvation all those who are living steeped in sin and blinded by the darkness of ignorance, error and heresy. Comfort the afflicted, provide for the needy, strengthen the fearful, defend the oppressed, give health to the infirm; cause all men to experience the effects of thy powerful intercession with the supreme Giver of every good and perfect gift. Amen.
Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory be.
V. Pray for us, O blessed Nicholas
R. That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ
Let Us Pray
O God, who hast glorified blessed Nicholas, Thine illustrious Confessor and Bishop, by means of countless signs and wonders, and who dost not cease daily so to glorify him; grant, we beseech Thee, that we, being assisted by his merits and prayers, may be delivered from the fires of hell and from all dangers. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.
-300 days indulgence
Happy Saint Nicholas Day from Sanctus Simplicitus!
Just a quick e-blog card to our readers! I'll post more about our day later =)~Don't forget to enter our blog give away for a free copy of The Baker's Dozen~ St. Nicholas Adding and Multiplying File Folder Games are free here!~Visit our St. Nicholas Page for feast day fun!And enjoy the video below of a wonderful Bulgarian St. Nicholas Day Chant.
Happy Eve of St. Nicholas!!! He is coming a bit early to Sanctus Simplicitus in anticipation of our busy day tomorrow. We are giving away two copies of The Baker's Dozen in honor of such a wonderful Saint's feast day! This wonderful book teaches us how our hearts should be full of love just as Christ's is and how St. Nicholas' was.A bit about the book from Amazon:"
Van Amsterdam the baker was well known for his honesty as well as for his fine Saint Nicholas cookies. He always gave his customers exactly what they paid for -- not more and not less. So, he was not about to give in when a mysterious old woman comes to him on Saint Nicholas Day and insists that a dozen is thirteen! The woman's curse puts an end to the baker's business, and he believes it would take Saint Nicholas to help him. But if he receives that help, will it be exactly what he imagined? Find out in this inspiring legend from Dutch colonial New York about the birth of an honored American custom."We will be reading this tomorrow along with making St. Nicholas cookies using our St. Nicholas cookie cutter from the St. Nicholas Center. To enter the drawing.... simply leave us a comment on this post. Make sure to include your name and tomorrow evening I will have one of our little helpers pick two winners from a drawing. Both copies are a basic paperback version. Drawing entry cut off time is 6 pm PST on 12/6/2011 Please do share with your friends on your blog by linking up, sending an email, sharing on Facebook or Twitter ect. This doesn't get you more entries but it does help spread the story of St. Nicholas and the spirit of giving! The Giveaway is now closed, thank you for those who entered and see who won in this BLOG POST!Here is the true story of such a legendary saint!SAINT NICHOLAS
Archbishop of Myra in Lycia (†342) Saint Nicholas, the patron Saint of Russia, has won the warmest of praises from other Saints such as Saint John Chrysostom and Saint Peter Damian, who called him the glory of young men, the honor of the elderly, the splendor of priests and the light of Pontiffs.
All the world was filled with his praises, Saint Peter added. The universal Church, in the Collect of his office, claims that God made known his nobility by an infinite number of miracles.
He was born during the third century, nephew of the Archbishop of Myra. He had lost his parents while still very young, and he desired not to conserve his rich heritage. Gradually he gave away everything of which he could dispose, establishing dowries for poor maidens and seeking out the needy wherever they could be found. The Archbishop, his uncle, already aware of his vocation to sanctity, ordained Saint Nicholas priest and appointed him Abbot of the monastery of Holy Sion near Myra. He undertook a pilgrimage to the Holy Land, resurrecting a sailor who fell from a mast during the voyage; he prayed for the frightened passengers in a near-fatal tempest and calmed it. He visited Saint Anthony of the Desert and healed many sick persons in Alexandria during a stopover in Egypt.
On the death of the Archbishop of Myra, he was elected to the vacant see. Immediately after the pontifical Mass, he resurrected an infant who had fallen into a fire.
A persecution broke out under the emperor Licinius; Saint Nicholas was banished and kept in chains. He suffered from severe mistreatment but returned to his church when Constantine the Great defeated Licinius, and in 313 then put a definitive end to the persecutions. Saint Nicholas labored in his domains to stop the worship of false gods, still practiced there as elsewhere. With his own hands he cut down a huge tree, site of a sacrilegious cult of the goddess Diana. During a famine his prayers multiplied the provisions of wheat which he had ordered for the port of Myra, to such an extent that what would have sufficed for his people for only a few days, was found to be sufficient for more than two years. He rescued from death, just before they were hanged, three innocents condemned by a judge who had been corrupted by money, reprehended the latter for his crime and sent these liberated ones home, entirely exonerated.
Throughout his life he retained the bright and simple manners of his early years; no one could converse with him without finding himself spiritually renewed. Saint Nicholas was the special protector of the innocent and the wronged. He is usually represented at the side of a container in which a cruel butcher had concealed the bodies of three young persons, whom he had killed and was intending to use in his commerce, but who were restored to life by the Saint. This miracle was reported by Saint Bonaventure in a sermon.
Saint Nicholas rejoiced when God made known to him that the end of his pilgrimage was near. He retired to his Monastery of Holy Sion, and after a short but intense episode of fever, died in the year 342. He is the patron of schoolchildren, sailors, travelers and pilgrims, prisoners and many others. His relics were translated in 1087 to Bari, Italy, where a church was built in their honor. And there, after fifteen centuries, the manna of Saint Nicholas
still flows from his bones and heals all kinds of illnesses. Reflection:
Those who would enter heaven must become like little children, whose greatest glory is their innocence. Two duties impose themselves on Christians: first, either to preserve our innocence by sage precautions or regain it by penance; secondly, to love and shield it in others.
Sources: Little Pictorial Lives of the Saints,
a compilation based on Butler’s Lives of the Saints
and other sources, by John Gilmary Shea (Benziger Brothers: New York, 1894); Les Petits Bollandistes: Vies des Saints,
by Msgr. Paul Guérin (Bloud et Barral: Paris, 1882), Vol. 14.May you have a blessed Feast Day and may St. Nicholas leave you lots of treats tonight during your slumber!
A friend's beautiful St. Nicholas Day Table
This is our first year celebrating St. Nicholas' Feast day, and so it is a truly Keeping It Catholic post! There will be no Santa in this house this year but we are welcoming St. Nicholas on his feast day with lots of fun! Thanks to the St. Nicholas Center
there are SO many traditions, crafts, activities and recipes to choose from.Here is what we have planned for our day!The morning will start off with finding what St. Nicholas left for the little kids who were good.
I'm not sure if we are using stockings, plates or shoes to put these goodies in yet. Shoes are the main tradition in imitation of St. Nicholas putting the golden coins in the maidens shoes for their dowry. Gold coins, of the chocolate variety are in order along with an orange, some peanuts in the shell, some candy sticks (Peppermint, orange, pomegranate and other flavors) from Trader Joe's and probably some special cookies from Trader Joe's as well. Ideally I would bake some traditional St. Nicholas cookies but I think we will make that the goal for next year. Along with treats we are going to have St. Nicholas day in regards to school, we will still do school but it will all be focused on St. Nicholas.For math we will bake St. Nicholas Gingerbread cookies in the shape of St. Nicholas thanks to our cookie cutter from the St. Nicholas Center (also a great cookie cutter for St. Patrick's day or any bishop!). We will read A Baker's Dozen along with our cookie baking.Also for math we will be doing the Multiplying and Adding Gifts with St. Nicholas File Folder games on our Download Page.Some craft ideas:St. Nicholas Miter Hats to wearSt. Nicholas treat cups- paper craftSt. Nicholas Stick ornamentStand Up St. Nicholas CraftWe love these Saint Nicholas songs here
. The Dutch ones are our favorite.For dinner I'm either making a St. Nicholas traditionally dinner of a German Pork Dish or a Bulgarian Fish dish depending on the ingredients I can find. The adults will probably have some Mulled Bishops Wine and a special drink for the kids as well, both St. Nicholas Feast day traditions from around the world (found on the St. Nicholas Center site under recipes). For breakfast we are having a Bulgarian dried Fruit and rice dish that is usually served on this feast day. Extra prayers to St. Nicholas will be added and a Holy Card of the miracle worker Saint included in their treats. What an amazing saint he was! From fasting even when he was a babe all but two days a week to leaving a miraculous oil flowing from his tomb, to calming the sea and saving three girls from a wretched life. We have a couple of real saint stories that we will be reading about St. Nicholas and that will be the focus of our day.
St. Nicholas is indeed a special saint in our home as he is the patron saint of Russia (where our two boys are from), the patron saint of children and he was an orphan himself. What a wonderful patron for adopted children from Russia and any Slavic country for that matter.It will be a busy fun day here and we are on count down... only two more days! What are your St. Nicholas traditions, please leave us a comment and share.
Here are our current favorite books for the season! A special thank you to my dear friend Julie for introducing us to many of these titles! What are yours? Join the link up by sharing your favorites on your blog or leave us a comment below!
Lucia Saint of Light
Everything about the Feast of St. Lucy! From recipes, to history and tradtions and wonderful pictures!
The Legend of the Poinsettia
A beautiful story about the Poinsettia and how the smallest gifts are most often the ones that Jesus loves the most. No gift is too small!
The Twelve Days of Christmas
Despite the Amazon statement of this being a 'secular' book it was an old poem used when Catholic's were persecuted and has great religious and Catholic meaning to it. A beautifully illustrated book!
The Miracle of Saint Nicholas
We LOVE LOVE LOVE this book, probably up there as our top favorite. The boy"Alexy," has a special meaning in this house and our boys are also adopted from Russia along with the whole story of the Church being attacked and 'going underground' it is an all around favorite here. A real treasure and a special gift.
The Baker's Dozen
This is a fun and very teachable book about how to keep the spirit of giving this season a lesson that St. Nicholas often taught. There is always plenty to go around especially when we give in Jesus' name! Want this book for free? We will be giving away a copy... maybe two on the Feast of St. Nicholas! Look for the blog post to come :) Also visit the St. Nicholas center
to get your St. Nicholas cookie cutter for his feast in just a few days!
The True Story of Saint Nicholas
This is by far our favorite story about St.Nicholas, while it is mingled with a little bit of fiction it's a very good presentation of such a Holy Saint to little ones so they understand the real meaning well!We have SO many favorites and these are just a few. Many of these can be found at your local library and they are also listed (along with others) in our Shoppe. May you have a blessed Advent!
Advent is only a few days away! Enjoy the December issue of the St. Catherine Academy Gazette
, its free to download so please do share. A dear friend and her family have put this together as part of the their homeschooling from Catholic imprimatured books.There are also some other new downloads on the Download page. Both a maze and a word find for St. Nicholas' Feast Day and St. Lucy's. I also hope to have one up for Advent in general as well as the Feast of the Immaculate Conception. May God bless your Advent!
St. Lucy and St. Nicholas word finds have been added to the download page
. More are coming so keep checking back! They go well with the 18 color pages of St. Nicholas on the St. Nicholas Center website
to make for a little Advent Activity book for kids. Enjoy and Share!Advent only days away!