Nicholas and Jesus

Augsburg Zoo Nikolaus
Sankt Nikolaus at the Augsburg Zoo, Germany Permission pending.

In these days before Christmas, we can celebrate the feast of Nicholas as a time to refocus on Jesus. St. Nicholas showed us how to find Jesus in the poor, the oppressed and abused. He was devoted to charity, but charity always linked to justice.

Nicholas teaches us that faithful followers of Jesus defend those who are wrongly accused. Today we can see the face of Jesus not only in political prisoners around the world, but also in anyone who suffers from false accusation. After all, wasn't Jesus himself executed on false charges?

Finally, St. Nicholas shows us how to find Jesus through prayer and religious zeal.

Let's relish the spirit of joy and charity embodied in Santa's gift-giving, but let's not forget the real St. Nicholas, who, like all the saints, points to Jesus. That's the truest Christmas spirit.

From "The Real St. Nicholas," St. Anthony Messenger (now Franciscan Media), December 2002. Used by permission.

John Bookser Feister is an assistant editor of St. Anthony Messenger and editor of He has master's degrees in humanities and theology from Xavier University.

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