Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Jolly Old St. Nicholas' Day

James Christensen
Today is the feast day of St. Nicholas (either absorb the shock that it is not the 25th or join me in the Nicholas Propaganda Force), and I wish you joy of the day! One of the most popular post-biblical saints of all time, and still as an adult, he is one of my all-time favorites.  (I'll tease mystics and Jungians by mentioning that I had a big dream in which he appeared a couple of years back.)  The guy has a society, a center, and a village in Finland for postal and tourist purposes.  The figure of Santa Claus is perhaps the most popular individual figure subject to ongoing mythopoesis, and so I'm with C.S. Lewis here: he could show up in a piece of fiction or game in your future.  Did I say could?  Should.

A couple of reference entries: Wikipedia, The [Old] Catholic Encyclopedia, and the The New Schaff-Herzog Encyclopedia of Religious and Ethical Knowledge (which is also old, scans below).  Here's a more recent article and the entry at the Orthodoxwiki.

Sancte Nicolaë, ora pro nobis.


  1. The artist for the Saint Nicholas image in question is James Christensen.

  2. That's mostly because I'm quite familiar with his work. In fact, I have a print hanging on my office wall as we speak.

  3. Count me an active and vociferous member of the Nicholas Propaganda Force...and have been for years. Anytime a kid asks me if Santa Claus is real I gleefully answer YES! In fact, I go to church with him!