A Man Named Nicholas

by Ann Marie Gidus-Mecera

Today I am going to tell you a story about a very kind and generous man. He was born almost three hundred years after Jesus went up to heaven. This man was named Nicholas. He came from a town called Myra, far away from here. Nicholas' parents loved Jesus our Savior very much and taught Nicholas how to be a good Christian. When Nicholas was a boy, his uncle was the Bishop of Myra. When Nicholas grew up, he became a priest.

Three money bags

Nicholas loved children very much even though he didn't have any children of his own. One day, Nicholas heard about a poor man in his town who had three daughters. The man could no longer take care of his daughters. He had no money to feed them or buy them clothes. This made Nicholas so sad that he made a plan. Nicholas waited until it was dark. He filled a bag with money and secretly left it at the poor man's door. The man was surprised when he found the bag of money at his door in the morning! He wondered who left it there. The next night, Nicholas filled another bag with money and secretly left it at the man's door. Again, the man found the money in the morning and wondered who left it there. The third night, Nicholas filled still another bag with money and placed it at the man's door. But the poor man saw Nicholas and came to the door before Nicholas could leave. The poor man was so happy that his children would have food and clothing. He was so happy that Nicholas had been so kind.

One day, Nicholas' uncle, the Bishop of Myra, died and Nicholas became the new bishop. Even after he became a bishop, he still found time to look after the children and poor in his town.

Bishop Nicholas became a saint and now we know him as Saint Nicholas. Many children call him Santa Claus. We remember Saint Nicholas because of his kindness and the generous gifts he gave to others. We remember Saint Nicholas in the Orthodox Church on December 6. This day comes a few weeks before Christmas. One reason we give gifts to one another at Christmas is to remember the kindness Saint Nicholas had for those around him.

To Talk About

  1. Who was Nicholas' Uncle?
    The Bishop of Myra.
  2. Why did Nicholas leave money at the poor man's door?
    To feed and clothe the man's children. He felt sad they were poor.
  3. When Nicholas' uncle, the bishop died, who became the new bishop?

From A Way of Life: Introducing Your Child to the Orthodox Faith, A Religious Education Pre-School Program for Parents by Ann Marie Gidus-Mecera, Orthodox Christian Publications Center, OCA, 1991, p. 94. Used by permission. Click to purchase.

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