(Prayer offered over the Public Address system on the Feast of Saint Nicholas, 6 December 2013)
Mr. Lisi: Let us remember that we are in the presence of a loving and great God.
Katie: Hey, Jimmy. Today is December 6th. It’s the feast day of a very special saint. Do you know what a feast day is?
Jimmy: Of course I do, Katie. I’m in PEGASUS! A feast day is a day set aside by the Church to honor the deeds and accomplishments of a saint.
Katie: You got it, Jimmy. Today is the feast day of St. Nicholas. St. Nicholas lived in the 4th century. He was the Bishop of Myra, which is now part of modern-day Turkey.
Jimmy: I remember learning that he is also known as the Wonder-worker because of all the miracles he performed. His miracles can be attributed to feeding his fellow townspeople during hard times and a famine, resurrecting three youngsters who had been killed, saving sailors caught in a tempest, and many more stories.
Katie: I especially like the story of how he tossed bags of coins into his friend’s window to help his friend marry off his daughters. The coins fell in the man’s slipper at the side of his bed. Many say that that’s how we got the tradition of having Christmas stockings filled by Santa.
Jimmy: Speaking of Santa, that jolly rotund man dressed in a red suit actually comes from the image of St. Nicholas. During the time when many nationalities were coming to the New World to settle down, the Dutch children would always celebrate St. Nicholas’ feast day. They called him Sintaklaas. Sintaklaas, which eventually evolved from St. Nicholas to Santa Claus. Later on, Sir Clement Moore wrote the famous poem about St. Nick. You know that poem, Katie, don’t you? It was the night before Christmas and all through the house not a creature was . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Katie: OK, Jimmy, I know that poem. If you read the whole thing, we will all miss first period class. Enough, please!
Jimmy: Well, anyway, it’s true that the image we hold of Santa Claus was modeled after a great man in the Catholic Church. Today we honor the spirit of a man of tremendous faith, unending generosity and unconditional love for his people. After we finish prayer, let’s stroll down to PEGASUSland to see the St. Nicholas display we have in our display case. Students and teachers are welcome to come to view our display anytime between today and Christmas.
Mr. Lisi: Let us pray,
Christmas is a time of giving, giving to those who are in need. Help us to show our generosity to others in a way that models what St. Nicholas did for his people many centuries ago. As we ready ourselves for the Adopt-a-Family Program,
we pray that all that we bring in will brighten the lives of others during this very special time of the year. We also pray that we will open our hearts to our family members and friends. Help us to give generously to their needs too, whether it be giving them special time that they need, lending a helping hand, saying words of encouragement, or giving handshakes, high 5’s and hugs.
St. John Baptist de La Salle – Pray for us.
St. Nicholas – Pray for us.
Live Jesus in our hearts – Forever.
La Salle Academy PEGASUS 7/8 (Robert Lisi [Principal and Saint Nicholas in the pictures] and students Katie Friedemann and Jimmy Truslow)