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The Real St. Nicholas: Tales of Generosity and Hope from around the World Paperback – Oct 1 2002

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 230 pages
  • Publisher: Quest Books; 1 edition (Oct. 1 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0835608131
  • ISBN-13: 978-0835608138
  • Product Dimensions: 17.7 x 1.7 x 25.1 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 680 g
  • Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,364,594 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

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)

Amazon.com: HASH(0xa2f71864) out of 5 stars 14 reviews
21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa2f0df18) out of 5 stars "The Real St. Nicholas": An interesting addition to our family's holiday reading list Nov. 26 2008
By Jay Inhof - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Our extended family~~our grown children, but also young nieces and nephews and their parents, were talking about how we could add more meaning to the holiday season (from Halloween through the New Year)to reinforce 'our family' rather than just focus on Shopping/Gift Lists and the 'Santa Claus Syndrome'. We came up with the idea that we would add more theme and 'ritual' to traditional minor feast days and holidays that were being overwhelmed by Xmas merchandising and the media blitz. The holidays we wanted to focus on were All Saints and All Souls Days, St. Nicholas Day, the Feast of Santa Lucia, and the weeks of Advent. So we looked into resources for storytelling, bedtime reading, crafts, and cooking/baking and sharing meals as a family group appropriate to each holiday.

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.
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa2f10180) out of 5 stars Great Book! Jan. 9 2007
By Joanne - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
I had been looking for a book that gave the story of St Nicholas that I could read to my Grandchildren. This was the perfect book. It had all the stories about St. Nicholas from around the world. It was interesting to read the different stories about Bishop Nicholas depending on where you lived. Very Complete! A must for the "Bishop Nicholas" lover.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa2f103c0) out of 5 stars A COLLECTION OF LEGENDS ABOUT ST. NICHOLAS May 3 2011
By Steven H Propp - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Jungian analyst Louise Carus (who is also the editor of Betwixt and Between: Patterns of Masculine and Feminine Initiation and Crossroads: The Quest for Contemporary Rites of Passage) has both edited and translated these tales---beautifully illustrated with reproductions of historical paintings, etc.---from many parts of the world and many different centuries, attributed to the historical St. Nicholas of Myra.

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)
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa2f1063c) out of 5 stars Timeless stories to share for the holidays Dec 5 2011
By Damon D. Hickey - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
For nearly a decade I've had the honor to "re-present" St. Nicholas on the Sunday closest to his feast day in December at our Episcopal Church. Our St. Nick comes in during the "Passing of the Peace," sits down in front, and tells a story to the children, after which they distribute St. Nicholas ginger cookies to everyone. For the past 6 years, our St. Nicholas has told one of the stories from this wonderful, indispensable collection. They are truly timeless, which means they can teach some surprisingly modern lessons. For example, the Armenian story of St. Nicholas the hermit and the mouse may have been intended originally to teach people to be content with their lot and not to aspire to something above their "station" in life. But today it can teach the importance of being careful what you wish for (because you might get it and then wish you hadn't) and of asking God to give you what God knows will be best for you. It could also teach how God lets you make mistakes and learn from them without being destroyed by them. Thank you, Louise Carus, for gathering, translating, and publishing this amazing resource!
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa2f104d4) out of 5 stars We still need St. Nicholas May 28 2011
By Thomas Nealeigh - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
As a reenactor who becomes St. Nicholas (not Santa Claus) for many church, school, historic village and civic groups, especially in December, I am always searching for more stories which show the generous giving (not getting) nature which St. Nicholas inspires. These wonderful stories are well written with many new - to me - ones and other versions of more familar stories. The last part of the book has modern wonders of St. Nicholas wich are most intriguing. This book is highly recommended.