Far from the Santa Claus of modern folk-lore, the real Nicholas of Myra was the Bishop of a church under heavy persecution. To be a Christian in the Roman territories during the third and early fourth centuries was to literally risk your life. Roman law sought to suppress the Cult of Christianity, and drove many believers into poverty and starvation.
It was in this dangerous time that Nicholas was ordained to the priesthood and then called to shepherd his people as their bishop. Blessed with a large inheritance from his wealthy parents, Nicholas used the money and property he had to help his people to be able to simply survive.
Known to be a Christian by the authorities, but too socially prominent to touch, Nicholas had to minister to his flock’s needs under cover. It was the government’s surveillance which led him to dropping bags of coins through open windows, down chimneys, and hiding them in places which were easily discovered by those who needed them.
St Nicholas’s charity and cleverness gave rise to generations of people giving generously to others in honor of his memory. For finding ways to care for and protect his people during the Roman Persecutions, and selflessly sharing all that he had to ensure the welfare of his flock, we’re shining the spotlight on Nicholas of Myra., and naming him our Conspirator of the Week.
Know a Conspirator you’d like for us to highlight? Leave a comment or drop us a line. We’d love to hear all about him/her.
image credit: [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons