Today, the Primitive Catholic Community commemorates Nicholas, bishop of Myra, whose generosity and concern for others has endeared him to generations of Christians.
Nicholas was the forth-century bishop of Myra, in Asia Minor. He was a man of deep faith, compassionate to all, and deeply concerned with the welfare of his people. Nicholas was well known for rescuing victims of shipwreck and advocating for the safety of young children, but it is his generosity that has – for good or for ill – gained the most notoriety, particularly in modern western culture.
Perhaps the best-known story about Nicholas concerns his charity towards a poor man who was unable to provide dowries for is three daughters. Rather than see them forced into prostitution, Nicholas secretly tossed a bag of gold through the poor man’s window on three separate occasions, thus enabling the daughters to be married. Over the centuries, this particular legend evolved into the custom of gift-giving on his feast day.