~by Susi Pittman
December 7, 2016: My Advent Saint
Advent and Christmas is my favorite time of the year to immerse myself in the traditions and rituals of Holy Mother Church. Perhaps I am endeared to Christmas in a more spiritual way, as my birthday falls on the feast day of Saint Nicholas. His life is a spiritual mentorship for me, one that I fall short of again and again. Yet, imploring his heavenly help from time to time gets me right back on track. The older I have become, the more I have embraced his great wisdom and love
Dear Saint Nicholas is an Advent saint because his December 6th feast day always falls in early Advent. He did many kinds of amazing things…the way he did them is the revelation. Much of the good deeds and heroic assistance he brought to people was done in secret, known only to those whom he aided. It would be their recounting the experience that would perpetuate the stories of his eternal goodness and holy life. He was a faithful follower of Jesus Christ. His life clearly reflected the way each one of us is called to show God’s love to others, especially those in need. He helps us remember the true meaning of Christmas, it is a feast of love, hope, kindness and generosity.
My adoption of showing love to those in need has led me into the ministry of stewardship of the whole of creation, to speak for those creatures who have no voice. It is my passion and driving force to inspire good stewardship of our lesser brethren, the ecology and the value of the unborn human life. Many stories revolving around Saint Nicholas involves his aid in protecting children, even to the point of the miraculous following his death.
I have asked Saint Nicholas to assist me in rescuing animals over the years and his presence at times was almost palpable. Of course, I have called upon Saint Francis of Assisi, but, I know he must greatly appreciate the break when I implore Saint Nicholas to come to my aid.
One of my favorite stories of this great saint involves a cow. A poor man went to sell his cow, it was the last item of any value that he had. As he arrived at the marketplace he was met by an old man who asked him what he wanted for the cow. The poor man responded he would take what he could get. The old man gave him six large gold coins and took the cow. Several merchants in the marketplace asked the poor man who he was talking to, as they saw no one about him. The poor man was perplexed. Upon arriving back home, he was surprised to see the cow back in her pen and very surprised to meet his very angry wife. She wanted to know why he did not sell the cow? He replied he had and shared the gold coins with her. He asked her who it was that had returned the cow back to the pen. She described him and it was then that they both realized it was Saint Nicholas whom both of them had seen who had been their benefactor.
The relics of Saint Nicholas are still preserved in the church of San Nicola in Bari, Italy; up to the present day an oily substance, known as Manna di S. Nicola, which is highly valued for its medicinal powers, is said to flow from them.
For a brief history on this endearing saint, CLICK HERE.
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++Susi Pittman is founder of CatholicStewardsofCreation.com and Owner-President of Twin Oaks Publishing; she is author of Animals in Heaven? Catholics Want to Know!; a member of the St. John’ s Catholic Writers Guild; a member of the Florida Publishers Association, Independent Book Publishers Association, the National Association of Professional Women, the ASPCA, the National Wildlife Federation, the Humane Society of the United States and the National Audubon society.
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