Make sure there are no children reading over your shoulder before I tell you that a couple of years ago I visited the grave of Santa Claus.
I was in Bari in southern Italy with a family who live in that city and the part of their hometown they were most excited to show me was the Basilica of St. Nicholas containing the tomb of the bishop who is the historical origin of today’s Santa.
For my friends Santa was not a secular reduction of their saint but an attractive, lively and contemporary communication of the generosity and joy of Nicholas who is buried in their basilica.
Today, December 6, is the feast of St. Nicholas, known as Sinterklaas especially by people of the Netherlands and their descendants around the world who celebrate their Christmas saint on this day.
Thanks to Merv Duffy SM (acting Principal of Good Shepherd College in Auckland) for the following three part introduction to the life and times of St Nicholas. Merv, along with Anne, Rob, Jason and I form the team that since October has been overseeing the development of the Food For Faith mission.
The presentation Merv gives is an inspiring introduction to the life of the saint and the development of devotion to him in the Eastern and Western Christian tradition.
This is an especially useful resource for for people of all ages, and especially with young people either in classroom, family or youth group.