The Tradition of St. Nick Lives on at St. Mary School

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Little shoes and boots lined the halls of the lower elementary classes on the morning of December 6th. Excited students huddled in the classes learning the story of St. Nicholas and celebrating his feast day. The Pre-Kindergarten and lower elementary classes celebrated his history at their weekly Mass and even had a special visit from the man himself!

In the busy Christmas season, we often forget the origin of Santa Claus and how his story began with St. Nicholas. The legend of St. Nick began when the saint secretly delivered bags of gold overnight to a widower for dowry of his three daughters, saving them from slavery. St. Nick was one of the first true anonymous philanthropists and his tradition spread throughout the world; each nation picking up and slightly changing the translation until it has become Santa Claus to us here in the United States today.

National Catholic Register says, “the inspiration of St. Nicholas led French nuns during the Middle Ages to start the tradition of bringing anonymous gifts under the cover of night to needy families and their children on December 5th, St. Nicholas Eve. The next morning, the feast of St. Nicholas, the poor families would wake to discover food, clothing, food treats and some modest money assistance. When the poor tried to find out who their benefactor was, they got the answer, “It must have been St. Nicholas.”

“St. Nicholas’s simple act of anonymously delivering those three bags of gold coins that night long ago became an annual tradition that spread rapidly throughout Christian Europe. Since the beloved bishop Nicholas was the Patron Saint of Children, the gifts weren’t limited to the poor, but included good girls and boys. Popularized by the Dutch as Santa Claus. “

St. Mary students love to participate in this annual tradition and celebration of the feast day of St. Nick! As they travel through each year of their schooling, they get to partake in a different aspect of the celebration and remember the first time they were able to find a special treat in their shoe.

St. Mary’s School Chardon is a Catholic School for grades preschool through 8 where students are encouraged to develop academically in an environment of faith, with a vision for the future. For information: visit StMarySchoolChardon.org, or Contact:  [email protected] or Phone: 440-286-3590

Pictured In Left Photo: St. Nick arrives at Mass.
Pictured In Top Center Photo: St. Nick and the Pre-K Class.
Pictured In Top Right Photo: 3 year old preschool classmates discover their gifts!
Pictured In Bottom Right Photo: Filled shoes line the hallway after St. Nick’s visit.

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