Feast of St. Nicholas

The readings today speak of our trust and faith in the Lord. Both instruct us to have our Rock of faith as the Lord and keep our foundations in solidarity with Him, otherwise our houses, our lives will collapse. “Only the one who does the will of my Father will enter the Kingdom of heaven.” It is a great line to focus on this Advent, as we re-align ourselves with the will of our Father in heaven.

St. Nicholas of Myra, (280-343 AD), whose feast we celebrate today, is a wonderful example of keeping focused on the Lord. St. Nicholas is revered in both the Eastern and Western Church and was well known as a saint, long before Saints were officially approved by the Church (which began in the late 8th century). Read about this little-known fact of the Secret Santa here.

There are many legends attributed to this beloved Saint. When my children were young, I told them to leave their shoes by the door on the eve of the feast of St. Nicholas, which is a popular tradition in Europe. In this narrative, St. Nick places chocolates, fruits or small gifts in the shoes.

Looking at prayers to St. Nicholas, I find myself drawn to this one. It sets a nice tone to the joyful season of Advent. May you be reminded of it every time you see a candy cane and smile or share with others the blessing.

Feast of St. Nicholas Day Candy Cane Blessing Prayer

Good St. Nicholas, we honor you
on this your holy feast day.
We rejoice that you are the patron saint
and the holy symbol of joy
for many peoples of many lands.

Come, great-hearted saint,
and be our patron and companion
as we, once again, prepare our homes and hearts
for the great feast of Christmas,
the birth of the Eternal Blessing, Jesus Christ.

May these sweets, these candy canes,
be a sign of Advent joy for us.
May these candy canes,
shaped just like your Bishop’s staff,
be for us a sign of your benevolent care.

We rejoice that you are the holy bringer of gifts
and that so many have been delighted
through your great generosity.
Help us to be as generous of heart.

Wherever these candy canes are hung,
on tree or wall or door,
may they carry with them
the bright blessing of God.
May all who shall taste them
experience the joy of God
upon their tongues and in their hearts.

We ask God, now, to bless
these your brightly striped sweets
in the name of the Father,
and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Beth Price is a Secular Franciscan (OFS) and spiritual director who has worked in several parish ministry roles during the last 20 years. She is a proud mother of 3 adult children. Beth currently works at Diocesan. You can contact her at bprice@diocesan.com.