Saint Nicholas and Advent

MLPPracticing Catholics know that Advent is a time of preparation for the advent of Christ, but I’d like to bring up the connection between Saint Nicholas (and Santa Claus) with the Advent season.  We frequently don’t think of the connection as the cultural aspects of the feast day distract us.  Being part German, being born and raised in Germany as well, Saint Nicholas Day is very significant to me as it always has been.

So, is there more to Saint Nicholas Day than a saint posing a folklore figure giving children gifts and candy?  Of course.  When we think of Santa’s naughty and nice list, that is a clear reference to the book of life and the book of death.  Advent is a season mostly about the second advent of Christ in which the last judgment will occur and all names will be written either in the book of life or the book of death [1].  A person’s name shall be on either book based on their works as the Lord said.

When we think of it, early December is the Advent season and it is a time when children are expected to good in expectation for Christmas Day when Santa Claus brings them gifts on the stipulation that they’ve been good.  In relevancy to Advent, Saint Nicholas reminds us to perform good works of faith and charity, to prepare ourselves not just for Christmas, but for the second coming of Jesus Christ.

Merry Christmas and happy New Year!

O God, who didst adorn by the working of countless miracles the holy bishop Nicholas: grant, we beseech Thee, that by his merits and prayers we may be delivered from the flames of hell. Through our Lord. Amen.

[1] Revelation 3:5, 20:15

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