December 23, 2022

A Gift for Saint Nicholas: A True Story

Saint Nicholas is primarily known in the West as the inspiration behind the gift-giving Santa Claus, who on Christmas Eve brings presents to good boys and girls, and in return an offering of cookies and milk is given to him as a gift for himself and his reindeer. This gift exchange is likewise inspired by the real life miracles of Saint Nicholas, which the faithful in return offer to him in thanksgiving for the gift of the particular miracle performed. Below is one real life example from the life of Saint George Karslides, a holy priest from Drama of Northern Greece who passed away in 1959. It concerns the true story of a young girl who promised Saint Nicholas a gift, but forgot her secret promise until another Saint years later reminded her.

A young girl, who was working in a house of wealthy owners in Drama, one day accidentally broke a glass mug. Afraid that her bosses would fire her, she tearfully begged Saint Nicholas not to allow her to be fired, and when she grew up, she would offer him something in his church as a gift.

As the years passed, she attended church in the Sacred Church of the Ascension, where Saint George Karslides officiated. At the end of the Divine Liturgy, the Saint spoke to the faithful from the Beautiful Gate in front of the altar. Among other things, he said with sadness and pain of heart that it was a great sin that one sold cat meat, deceiving his customers that it was rabbit.

The woman who had made a promise to Saint Nicholas and had not fulfilled it, was trying to somehow comfort the Saint, speaking to him in Pontian, which was his native language.

Then he turned to her and said:

"You see to it that you do what you told Saint Nicholas."

Then, admiring his gift of clairvoyance, she hastened to fulfill the promise she had forgotten since her youth.