feast of saint Nicholas
Proverbs, Chapter 31, Verse 30
Charm is deceptive and beauty fleeting; the woman who FEARS the LORD is to be praised.
Woman is the key to the salvation of the world. It is the miracle of God that the salvation of mankind was deposited in the care of the Virgin Mary and likewise in the physical sense the material world through the modern woman who is faithful to the precepts of the Lord. Such a woman knows the secret to raising children to be happy and successful is to do it in a home overflowing with love. A woman of faith truly knows:
God is our refuge and our strength, an ever-present help in distress. Therefore, we fear not, though the earth be shaken, and mountains plunge into the depths of the sea.
A woman of Influence
“The hour is coming, in fact has come, when the vocation of woman is being acknowledged in its fullness, the hour in which women acquire in the world an influence, an effect, and a power never hitherto achieved. That is why, at this moment when the human race is undergoing so deep a transformation, women impregnated with a spirit of the Gospel can do so much to aid humanity in not falling.”
(Closing speeches Vatican Council II, 12/8/65).
Mother Mary is a perfect role model for all women, of course, but for women who work in particular. According to St. Louis de Montfort, Mary has principle virtues, which when practiced help to lead us to her Son and create a home and world that celebrates the greatness of the Lord.
- Ardent Charity: How can you demonstrate great love at work? This is not the same love as a spousal love, of course. How do you approach your employees? Your supervisors? Your clients? Your customers? Is your approach focused on valuing a relationship more than a material good? Are you able to articulate information and ideas in a mutually respectful way?
- Heroic Patience: Do you really listen at work? Are you able to rise above a situation in order to assist others as they learn new tasks? Do you hold your temper or judgment about your supervisor when you disagree with them? Are you willing in your attitude to seek understanding of others, even when it is difficult?
- Divine Wisdom: Recalling your baptism, and especially your confirmation, do you recall and use the gifts of the Holy Spirit in your work decisions? Do you pray for guidance? Do you seek Biblical and Church tradition answers and solutions? Do you show gratitude to God when you recognize divine wisdom at work?
- Angelic Sweetness: Is your approach nurturing and relational? Do you avoid calumniation of fellow co-workers and supervisors? Even when difficult, do you respond to others at work by extending grace and mercy?
- Profound Humility: Are you focused on others more than yourself? Do you recognize the work of the team, or are you taking credit for the work? Do you care who gets the credit? Does this impact the way you treat others?
Mary’s virtues bring us to a very feminine leadership style: one steeped in relationship building, not shying away from truth or faith, but approaching others in grace. When practiced at work, these virtues of Our Lady can lead us to Holiness and a fulfilled leadership at work.
St. Nicholas Feast Day (270–343)—December 6
From the ninth century in the East and the eleventh century in the West, Nicholas has been one of the most popular saints in Christendom and in Christian art and is the patron of many countries, dioceses, churches, and cities. He was a Greek bishop of Myra in Lycia (now Turkey). According to folklore, he may have saved three girls from prostitution, restored to life three children who had been killed, and saved three unjustly condemned men from death. While some sources say that he may have been imprisoned during the Diocletian persecution, there is no historical certainty that he suffered persecution for his faith. Likewise, while some sources place him at the Council of Nicaea in 325, it is uncertain if he attended. His charity to the poor is commemorated in modern times by those who follow the tradition of stuffing a boot or a stocking with gifts on his feast day. “Santa Claus” comes from the Dutch form of his name, “Sinterklaas.” He is the patron saint of sailors, merchants, and children.
· Choose some of the recommended activities — a puppet show, a party, a visit from "St. Nicholas." Make sure to include in all the activities the story of St. Nicholas, virtues to imitate, and his significance in the Advent season. Read how different countries Celebrate the Feast of St. Nicholas.
· To enhance your feasting, purchase a copy of the CD by the Anonymous 4 Legends of St. Nicholas. This is medieval music, all in honor of St. Nicholas, done by four female vocalists.
· There are numerous recipes to enhance this feast, anything from a soup to dessert, so have fun in the kitchen trying different ones.
· St. Nicholas did his charitable works secretly. Suggest that your children do one hidden act of kindness in imitation of the saint.
· From the Netherlands we have the most popular recipe, speculaas (or St. Nicholas Cookies; Speculaus; Speculatius; Kris Kringle Cookies; Dutch spice cookies). You can find tips for using special speculaas cookie molds by Gene Wilson. Try these sites for St. Nicholas Cookie cutters or molds: House on the Hill, HOBI Picture Cookie Molds, Rycraft, and St. Nicholas Center. You could also use Nativity Cookie Cutters, like these from Cookie Craft.
There are three stages of man: 1st you believe in Santa Claus; 2nd you don’t believe in Santa Claus and 3rd you become Santa Claus!
Food and Drink
It should always be remembered that like Lent, Advent is a period of penitence and sacrifice. Prior to the 1917 Code of Canon Law, in fact, the Roman church observed a fast (albeit one much less demanding than the Lenten fast), and prior to Vatican II it continued to require fasting during the Advent Embertide. It is therefore a salubrious custom to practice some kind of abstinence (e.g. giving up a favorite food) during Advent as a sober reminder of the season. Yet because it anticipates the Nativity, Advent cannot help but be suffused with joy as well. Traditional treats, especially on St. Nicholas Day (December 6) and during the "Golden Nights" (December 16 to 24), have long been a part of Advent observance. These hints of celebration have nothing to do with the ungodly bacchanalia of the annual Christmas party at the office or on the block and can therefore be made part of a holy preparation for the Lord.
· Cookies: traditional treat during Advent, especially on St. Nicholas Day and during the octave before Christmas. Springerles or Peppernuts (Pfeffernusse) are popular in Germany, Diples ("folds," for the infant Jesus' swaddling clothes) in Greece, and Speculaas cookies (on St. Nicholas Day) in the Netherlands.
· Drinks: there are special holiday drinks to toast the imminent arrival of the Christ Child. Eggnog and Rum pots are especially popular during the Octave before Christmas or the Golden Nights (see Customs), while Swedish mulled wine or Bishop's wine is drunk on St. Nicholas Day (December 6).
Fruitcake: alcoholic content and heavy
texture, fruitcakes are the preferred winter treat for many adults. Again, the
kind of fruitcake will various according to nationality. Do not use this
as a frienemy gift!
On the eve of the St. Nicholas party the treats served are the exchange of gifts, genuine Dutch cookies and Bishopwyn (bishop's wine). For children the wine is grape juice. But the grownups welcome the mulled Bishopwyn. With the people of the Netherlands, let us toast his memory with Bishopwyn and tell the beautiful legends of the charity of St. Nicholas. To give gifts in secret so that people would render him no thanks was surely a saintly act.
· 1 bottle of Claret
· 6 cloves
· 4 inches stick cinnamon
Break cinnamon into small pieces. Simmer wine and spices for about five minutes. Strain wine. Serve hot.
Recipe Source: Family Advent Customs by Helen McLoughlin, The Liturgical Press, Collegeville, Minnesota, 1954, 1979
Jesse Tree Scriptures (The Symbols Are Only Suggestions)
December 1 Creation: Gen. 1:1-31; 2:1-4 Symbols: sun, moon, stars, animals, earth
December 2 Adam and Eve: Gen. 2:7-9, 18-24 Symbols: tree, man, woman
December 3 Fall of Man: Gen. 3:1-7 and 23-24 Symbols: tree, serpent, apple with bite
December 4 Noah: Gen. 6:5-8, 13-22; 7:17, 23, 24; 8:1, 6-22 Symbols: ark, animals, dove, rainbow
December 5 Abraham: Gen. 12:1-3 Symbols: torch, sword, mountain
December 6 Isaac: Gen. 22:1-14 Symbols: bundle of wood, altar, ram in bush
· Eat waffles and Pray for the assistance of the Angels
· Monday: Litany of Humility
· Go to Mass