The Real St. Nicholas: Tales of Generosity and Hope from around the World Paperback – Oct 1 2002
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From Publishers Weekly
As the patron saint of pharmacists, brides, prisoners and bakers, Saint Nicholas has become a footnote of history. But as the patron saint of children, he lives on in a spirit of generosity known the world over. This book recounts many of those tales of open-handed bounteousness, beginning with a true story: after the destruction of the World Trade Center, the mayor of Bari, Italy, sent half a million dollars to restore the St. Nicholas church in lower Manhattan, which had been wrecked by falling debris. The cities of Bari and Manhattan both have Nicholas as their patron saint. Other stories, drawn from legends across Europe, speak to the saint's avuncular character and largesse, and to the way his example inspires ordinary people to undertake extraordinary acts of charity. Full-color illustrations and photos of contemporary celebrations of the saint's feast day (December 6) complement the engaging text.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Thus I ordered "The Real St. Nicholas" after reading about it on the St. Nichlolas Center website (where there is a huge amount of good and fun info about St. Nicholas). The book has a range of essays and stories, including the biography of the bishop, different legends from various European cultures and many stories to read aloud to small children. Several of the legends are also excellent if you want to hone your 'storytelling' skills by the fire. The book also includes some classic illustrations and a few recipes for traditional St. Nicholas baking. I think it's a keeper for the family library and will be used for years to come.
She writes in the "Acknowledgements" section of this 2002 book, "I want to thank my uncle... who fondly remembers St. Nicholas coming to his home on December 5 and 6 before World War I. More recently, he and I have celebrated St. Nicholas's Feast Day with (young relatives)... They were so responsive that I was inspired to translate a few new stories each year."
Here are some quotations from the book:
"Myra has been renamed Demre, in modern Turkey. You can still visit St. Nicholas's church there, which has been restored many times in the last sixteen hundred years. It is one of the oldest churches in the world..." (Pg. 1)
"'The Legend of the Three Stratilates' ... presents Nicholas as the patron saint of prisoners ... (and is) the first legend that prompted the Church to take special note of Nicholas. Previously, Nicholas was regarded not as a saint, but merely as a Myran bishop who came to have a very good reputation among the local inhabitants." (Pg. 59)
"The first legends of St. Nicholas come from the time of early Christianity when the old Greek gods and goddesses were rapidly losing favor... churches dedicated to Nicholas were often built right on top of old temples devoted to the Greek goddess Artemis... In some sense Nicholas replaced Artemis..." (Pg. 127)
"Finally, let us not forget that St. Nicholas is the patron saint of Manhattan!... the St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church that stood next to the World Trade Center was destroyed by falling debris on September 11, 2001. We are hoping it will soon be rebuilt for the enjoyment and inspiration of people everywhere." (Pg. 196)