American Minute with Bill Federer
Greek Orthodox tradition tells of Saint Nicholas being born to a wealthy, elderly couple in what is now Turkey in the year 280 AD. When his parents died, he generously gave to the poor.
Upon hearing of a merchant who went bankrupt and that creditors were about to take his daughters, Saint Nicholas threw money in the window at night to provide a dowry for the daughters to get married, thus saving them from a life of prostitution. When the father discovered who gave the money, Nicholas made him promise not to tell, inspiring the custom of secret gift-giving on the anniversary of Saint Nicholas’ death, which was DECEMBER 6, 343 AD.
Saint Nicholas became Bishop of Myra, was imprisoned in Emperor Diocletian’s persecution and was freed by Constantine. Saint Nicholas attended the Council of Nicaea, helped write the Nicene Creed and preached against the fertility goddess “Diana” at Ephesus, resulting in her temple being torn down.
In the 11th century, Muslim Seljuks Turks invaded, killing Christians, turning churches into mosques and desecrating the graves of Christian Saints. In the year 1087 AD, the bones of Saint Nicholas were shipped to southern Italy, to the city of Bari, for protection, thus introducing the traditions of Saint Nicholas to Western Europe. The Dutch brought their Saint Nicholas traditions to New Amsterdam, which became New York, and they pronounced Saint Nicholas – “Sinter Klass” or “Santa Claus.”
The Moral Liberal contributing editor, William J. Federer, is the bestselling author of “Backfired: A Nation Born for Religious Tolerance no Longer Tolerates Religion,” and numerous other books. A frequent radio and television guest, his daily American Minute is broadcast nationally via radio, television, and Internet. Check out all of Bill’s books here.
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