23 December 2021

A True Christmas Tale, Santa Claus does exist!

When I was young I heard, and believed, that Coca Cola Company made up the Santa Claus story. Thankfully a few days ago I was taken out of my ignorance and became captivated by the historical Saint Nicholas’. Best part, his legacy is actually the legacy we want to build with Amparo.

Little is known about the historical Saint Nicholas. He is said to have been born in the Greek seaport of Patara, Lycia in Asia Minor to wealthy Christian parents, a businessman named Theophanes and his wife, Nonna.  His habit of secret gift-giving became legendary and gave rise to the traditional model of Santa Claus (“Saint Nick”). His parents died when Nicholas was still a young man. He is said to have distributed their wealth to the poor.

In his most famous deed, which is first attested in Michael the Archimandrite’s Life of Saint Nicholas, Nicholas heard of a devout man who had once been wealthy but had lost it all. To the extent the man could not afford proper dowries for his three daughters. Back in the third century this meant that they would remain unmarried and probably, in absence of any other possible employment, be forced to become prostitutes.

Hearing of the girls’ trouble, Nicholas decided to help them. To save them the humiliation of accepting charity and not wanting any recognition for himself he went to the house under the cover of night and threw a purse filled with gold coins through the window opening into the house. The father immediately arranged a marriage for his first daughter, and after her wedding, Nicholas threw a second bag of gold through the same window late at night.

According to Michael the Archimandrite’s account, after the second daughter was married, the father stayed awake for at least two nights and caught Saint Nicholas leaving a bag for the third daughter. The father fell on his knees, thanking him, and Nicholas ordered him not to tell anyone about the gifts, claiming it came from God and not from a man. The scene of Nicholas’s secret gift-giving is one of the most popular scenes in Christian devotional art, appearing in icons and frescoes from across Europe.

Even though at Amparo we don’t fill purses with money and throw them through windows we are definitely in the same Spirit with Nicholas and we want to help and protect as many girls as possible.

Behind Santa’s fairytale we find an even better true story. The story of God using His people, to bring His Kingdom, paint a new reality in this world and redeem it. That is our wish this Christmas for ourselves and you! Let’s be obedient and enjoy all God wants to do through us, there is no better life on this earth than that.

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