If you make your way to Bicentennial Hall, then you will find, nestled around the Assyrian Reliefs, a delightful exhibit honoring the life, witness, and impact of the world’s most famous saint – St. Nicholas.
St. Nicholas is the saint from Patara (now southern Turkey) from the third century. He took everything he had and dedicated his life to supporting the marginalized. Stories about Bishop Nicholas focus on generosity and kindness, especially for children and sailors. Now the secular gateway to St. Nicholas is Santa Claus – our magical, gift-giving, sleigh rider. The legacy of St. Nicholas is an amazing combination of the Christ Child, Christmas, global reach, and social justice.
As a Seminary, we are in a season of deciding who we are. An important part of this historic bicentenary is our identity. What does it mean to be VTS for a third century of service? Part of the answer is St. Nicholas. Like St. Nicholas, we point to the Christ Child and to the Incarnation; like St. Nicholas, we are deeply committed to social justice and edging the world ever more closely to the kingdom; and like St. Nicholas, we aspire to serve the world. As we continue to live into our calling as the strongest seminary in the Anglican Communion, the most famous saint in the history of the Church (once combined with Santa Claus) is the perfect vehicle.
The Very Rev. Ian S. Markham, Ph.D
Dean and President
The display boards and activities are from St. Nicholas Center's Display and Activity Kits. They will be available from VTS for area churches' use.
From Dean's Commentary, December 16, 2021, Virginia Theological Seminary. Used by permission.
Photos: Jeffri Harre and C. Myers