I had been planning this post as today is the feast day of Blessed Nicholas of Myra, patron of thieves, sailors, students, and children. Unfortunately yesterday was an unhappy day here in Babylon,our dear cat Moses had to be put down.
I dedicate this post to his fuzzy memory.
6th December 336 AD
The Bishop of Myra, Nicholas is often referred to as Nikolas the Wonderworker, he is the model for our beloved Sinterklaas, Santa Claus.
As the Wonderworker, the Bishop was known for many miracles.
This 19th century prayer card illustrates one such miracle, a particularly grisly tale. A famine had struck , starvation rampant, an evil Butcher lures three little boys to his home, the Evil butcher swiftly slaughters the wee ones, expertly butchering them and cures them as hams for market. Beloved Nicholas, sees through this false marketing and resurrects the little ones.
Tales like this little gem are the reason I cannot abandon the Church.
The following image by the masterful Ilya Repin illustrates a similar tale but I have yet found specifics. It is of course a marvelous image, Repin spun magic.
Saint nicholas of Myra Saves Three Innocents from Death
Ilya Yefimovich Repin
The State Russian Museum
Nicholas is of course most famous for his charity.
The most famous tale being of a poor fellow with three young daughters ( three being a theme);poor fellow is unable to provide a dowry for the lasses. Nichiolas seeing the man’s dire situation saves the girls from a life of slavery and prostitution. Nicholas also spares the fellow’s pride by tossing three bags of gold through an open window.
Another tale, is Nicholas tosses the bags down the chimney, in their descent they land in the stockings that have been left by the hearth to dry.
We have certainly strayed a bit from the origin of this tale in the excesses of our celebration of Christmas.
He is famous for saying”The Giver of every good and perfect gift has called upon us to mimic His giving, by grace, through faith, and this is not of ourselves”.
I need to keep that in mind.
The Virgin and Child with St. Julian and St. Nicholas of Myra
Lorenzo Di Credi
Musée de Louvre
A novena to Saint Nicholas , Bishop of Myra is available here.
Moses was fourteen, born on the streets of Philly, feral, spooked, and beautiful.
He suffered from an anxiety that left him ambivalent about affection.
He demanded love, yet would swat you away if you nuzzled too closely.
Moses was a grey Manx, he hopped like a bunny perhaps due to the absence of a tail.
Poor bugger suffered with cystitis throughout the fourteen years, awakening us in his kittenhood with the most chilling scream. He continued with painful outbreaks throughout his life; we dealt with them as best as we could.
For the most part we managed his suffering, he rewarded us with dead lizards he proudly hunted down.
His anxiety and grumpiness earned him the nickname Moses Bin Laden.
He was a funny boy, demanding, affectionate, vocal.
We missed not hearing his 6 am wake up yowl this morning.
Recquiscat in Pace Moses.
5th December 2010
Take care dear boy.