In a lecture delivered in Athens to natives of Nafpaktos, His Eminence Metropolitan Hierotheos of Nafpaktos and Agiou Vlasiou examines briefly some of the characteristics of St. Basil described in the dismissal hymn for his feast. He elucidates the process by which the figure and personality of St. Basil underwent a transformation in Europe and the New World and became confused with Father Christmas or Santa Claus, who is associated with commerce, advertising, consumption, optimism and politics. He also considers the consequences of this distortion in personal and social life.
The issue I chose to examine today to your love is titled "St. Basil the Great and Santa Claus". It may seem that it lacks originality, but as you will see below it is of great importance for our time.