WHO IS SANTA CLAUS?
Tradition Answers With a Pretty Story.
It is frequently asked, “Who is Santa Claus?” Here is a story about him that lets light upon his real character. He was bishop of Myra and died about the year 326. Among his parishioners (so runs the story) there lived a certain nobleman who had three daughters. From being rich he became so poor that there seemed to him no means of obtaining food for his daughters buy by sacrificing them to a dishonorable life. Over and over again the thought came into his mind to tell them so, but shame and sorrow held him dumb.
Meanwhile the maidens wept continually, not knowing what to do and having no bread to eat, and their father became more and more desperate. When St. Nicholas heard of this, he thought it a shame that such a thing should happen in a Christian land. Therefore one night when the maidens were asleep and their father alone sat watching and weeping he took a handful of gold and tying it up in a handkerchief repaired to the nobleman’s dwelling. He considered who he might bestow it without making himself known, and while he stood irresolute the moon coming from behind a cloud showed him an open window. So he threw the gold, and it fell at the feet of the father, who, when he found it, returned thanks and presented it to his eldest daughter as her wedding portion. A second time St. Nicholas collected a similar sum, and again he three it in by night. So a wedding portion was provided for the second daughter.
But the curiosity of the old nobleman was now excited. He greatly desired to know who it was that came to his aid. Therefore he determined to watch. When the good saint came for the third time and prepared to throw in the third portion, he was discovered, for the nobleman seized him by the skirt of his robe and flung himself at his feet, saying, “Oh, Nicholas, servant of God, why seek to hid thyself?” and he kissed his feet and hands. But St. Nicholas made him promise that he would tell no man.
The Newark Advocate (Newark, Ohio) Dec 21, 1901
Appleton Post Crescent (Appleton, Wisconsin) Dec 12, 1921