St. Nicholas

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Saint Nicholas and Knecht Rupert
December 6

by Christine Natale

Gentle stories in the Waldorf tradition for the days before St. Nicholas Day, December 6

December 1 – The Little Boy Nicholas
December 2 – Bishop Nicholas
December 3 – Bishop Nicholas and the Family
December 4 – The Girl and the Wolf
December 5 – Bishop Nicholas and Rupert
December 6 – Saint Nicholas and Knecht Rupert
St. Nicholas and Knecht Rupert visit a school
Photo: C. Natale

Finally the day came when Bishop Nicholas was so very old that his body was too tired to serve him any more. His long beard fell snowy white down the front of his red robes. He lay down in his bed and the angels came to take him to Heaven. He left his old body behind because his didn't need it anymore. When he went to Heaven, he had the greatest joy possible, for there was Mother Mary coming to meet him and the Christ Child was with her! There was so much joy in Heaven, now that their dear Nicholas had come home, that the angels' hallelujahs could be heard on the earth.

But suddenly, Nicholas grew sad. He remembered his dear friend Rupert, who had also grown old and tired. He also remembered that he promised Rupert to take him with him wherever he went. So he asked the Christ Child if he could go back to the earth and bring Rupert to Heaven, too. The Christ Child answered that if Rupert wanted to come, he could do so.

So the angels took Nicholas back to the earth. He woke Rupert up and asked if he would like to come to Heaven. Rupert said, "Oh yes, please take me with you." So the angels helped Rupert take off his old and tired body and they all went back to Heaven. Rupert played with the Christ Child and all of the little angel children. The big angels sang their hallelujahs even louder than before.

But when the people on the earth found that Nicholas and Rupert had left them, they were very, very sad. They cried and prayed, especially the little children who felt very lost without their dear friend.

When the Christ Child saw that the children on the earth were so unhappy, He said to Nicholas, "You will have to come to the earth with me on my birthday, when I go down to all the little children. They miss you so much."

Belgian PostcardPostcard, Belgium
St Nicholas Center Collection

Nicholas was happy that he and Rupert would be able to go back to the children every year at Christmas time. Then Mother Mary asked him to go on ahead, to help the children prepare for the Christ Child's birthday.

This is how Nicholas became Saint Nicholas and Rupert became Knecht Rupert (which means Servant Rupert). Every year they journey to the earth on the sixth of December, which is Saint Nicholas' birthday in Heaven. And the little children know that if they ask him to come to them and if they have tried to be good and to prepare for the Christ Child's birthday, they will find good things in their little shoes in the morning.

The children also leave good things for Saint Nicholas and Knecht Rupert and even sometimes hay or carrots for the little donkey that Mother Mary lends to them to carry all of the goodies. And the songs and laughter of the children on the earth are as loud and joyful as those of the angel children in Heaven.


The other stories in this series

December 1 – The Little Boy Nicholas
December 2 – Bishop Nicholas
December 3 – Bishop Nicholas and the Family
December 4 – The Girl and the Wolf
December 5 – Bishop Nicholas and Rupert

By Christine Natale, who used them in her Waldorf kindergarten   Used by permission.

 Musings on Saint Nicholas or How to Play Saint Nicholas
by Christine Natale


Fairy Tales by Christine Natale, Straw Into Gold Press, 2010. A collection of fifteen original fairy tales, 3-4 for each season, gentle stories created for Waldorf kindergarten.

Purchase from amazon.com or amazon.uk.


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