Put in my heart the spirit of childhood ...
The modern-day mythical character of Santa Claus is well known for being a secret gift-giver. This is due in part to a popular story surrounding the 4th-century bishop, St. Nicholas of Myra.
Many Catholic families celebrate St. Nicholas with great enthusiasm, especially as a reminder that Christmas itself, and even Santa Claus, are eminently religious celebrations.
Nevertheless, to focus only on St. Nicholas’ gift-giving might allow us to forget that he is a saint and a powerful intercessor.
This beautiful prayer, part of a Little Office of St. Nicholas, reminds us that the holy bishop can do much more for us than leave chocolate coins (or oranges) in our shoes!
Blessing of oranges for St. Nicholas’ feast day
Prayer to Saint Nicholas
O good Saint Nicholas, you who are the joy of the children, put in my heart the spirit of childhood, of which the Gospel speaks, and teach me to seed happiness around me.
You, whose feast prepares us for Christmas, open my faith to the mystery of God made man.
You, good bishop and shepherd, help me to find my place in the Church and inspire the Church to be faithful to the gospel.
O good Saint Nicholas, patron of children, sailors, and the helpless, watch over those who pray to Jesus, your Lord and theirs, as well as over those who humble themselves before you.
Bring us all in reverence to the Holy Child of Bethlehem, where true joy and peace are found.
Good St Nicholas,
Help us prepare for the miracle of the coming of Jesus.
Help us not to be blind to the gifts of getting ready.
Help us be sincere in the greetings we send and receive, with love and prayer.
Kind St. Nicholas, protect us from shoppers’ fatigue, stress, overspending, yet help us to be kind and generous of heart to all, especially those who are alone, financially poor and fearful.
May our celebration of your feast lead others to see the true meaning of giving and receiving and to guide all people to
the greatest of all gifts, even Jesus Christ, prince of peace and child of Mary, Our Lord and only savior.
Turkish town where St. Nicholas gave gifts is pilgrimage site for Russians