Santa Claus, Saints, & Sagittarius – Part III

St. Nicholas Russian Orthodox Gold

The halo sheen alone informs the world that the man they called Nicholas was a direct recipient of Jupiter’s benevolent light.

No other saint is quite like Nicholas.
He is the only saint given equal veneration in both modern and Orthodox Christian churches and during the era when Europe was the center of civilization, Nicholas was chosen as the patron saint of Russia, Germany, the Nether Countries, Italy, as well as the converted Christians of Asia Minor. His feast day is still celebrated with as much zeal today as it was centuries ago.

The aforementioned notoriety is due mainly to the benevolent reputation generated by Nicholas’ acts of generosity and mercy. In other words, the Turkish bishop’s deeds are perceived to be thoroughly Jupiterian in nature. So Jupiterian in fact, Nicholas’ feast day of December 6th occurs smack dab during the mid-point of Sagittarius, the sign ruled by The King of Planets, itself.

When looking at Nicholas’ iconography through the ages, many depictions of the Christian saint emphasize the radiance of Jupiter’s holy rays by having him portrayed with a halo comprised of a golden hue so bright, the brilliant shine causes one to practically squint as with the image above.


The Legendary Deeds of Nicholas Artistically Immortalized


Nicholas’ acts of generosity are the tenets of his sainthood. Be they factual or legendary tall tales, his benevolent deeds are the source behind what made this man stand above not only average souls but attain a level of highest regard within Christianity’s School of Saints.

Intriguingly, the Turkish bishop’s saintly persona is given even further transcendence by the astrological association and symbolism of his actions.

Jupiterian Deeds of Generosity
Unlike the traditional path of development for those placed under the category of “Savior” where their time on earth commences while in a state of humble poverty, Nicholas’ beginning is a proper reflection befitting a son of Jupiter by being born into a family of extreme wealth.

This inherited wealth would be the main source behind the bishop’s benevolent reputation by Nicholas having the financial resources to bestow blessings on those around him and usually in their hour of desperate need.

Along with his traditional depiction of red bishop’s robes and snow white hair, the predominant imagery associated with the saint is of Nicholas holding small satchels of gold, as seen below. Even with that said whenever the saint spread his wealth to help others, he preferred to do so with anonymity and usually in as furtive a manner possible, such as during the wee hours of night.

Saint Nicholas

An image of the benevolent St. Nicholas seen holding multiple satchels of gold representing his access to his family’s abundant fortune.

The Stockings were hung by the chimney…..to aerate
Nicholas’ best known, dare it be said, most mythic deed of generosity was for three sisters who were members of his local congregation. The bishop heard of the girls’ dowries being spent by their father, a gambler who was compelled to drain the funds set aside for each daughter to prevent the spread of his ever-growing debts.

In 4th century Asia Minor, when a girl came of age and had no dowry when it came time to marry, she often had no other choice than to prostitute herself in order to survive. To prevent this from being the fate of all three sisters, in the middle of the night Nicholas creeps to the window of the family’s sitting room and proceeded to toss three bags of gold through an open window, 1 bag for each girl.

Variations of legend tell of the bags landing in each of the girls’ shoes, since foot gear was typically kept near the outer perimeter of an ancient Turkish sitting room.

Other versions of the tale tell of the girls washing their stockings before retiring and leaving them to dry over the sitting room’s hearth. From Nicholas’ covert perspective, the drying stockings served as the perfect receptacles to receive the gold sacks he tossed through the window in the dark of night.

Hmmmm, stockings hung over a hearth, or fireplace, having goodies, or goldies, furtively placed in them during the middle of the night?

Sound in any way Santa-ishly familiar?

The girls’ father, by all accounts, upon hearing the downstairs walls of his home being pelted with heavy objects snuck downstairs just in time to see the shadowy image of a man hurriedly retreating into the darkness. After chasing and eventually tackling the intruder to the ground, the father was shocked to discover the mystery man was his bishop, who insisted it wasn’t he who left the surprise packages but rather the satchels of gold were gifts from God.

This tale may not be of the miraculous kind but by far is the most beloved of Nicholas’ legends. As a matter of Art Historical fact, Nicholas’ generosity towards the 3 sisters became a favorite theme depicted by many prominent artists during the Renaissance a millennium later, such as the following:

Fra Angelico St. Nicholas Giving Dowries to 3 girls 1437

Fra Angelico – “St. Nicholas Giving Dowries to 3 Girls”, 1437

And

Fabriano - St. Nicholas and the 3 Gold balls 1425

Gentile Fabriano, “St. Nicholas & the 3 Gold Balls”, 1425


I’ll See Your Jupiterian Deed of Generosity & Raise You Some Mercy

Nicholas is also venerated as the patron saint of the unjustly accused. This association is based on a legend of three men who were wrongfully sentenced to death by a Roman governor due to Cesar’s representative accepting bribes in exchange for passing false judgement against the three. Incensed by such blatant injustice, the Turkish bishop took a goodly chunk of his family’s fortune and not only surpassed the total amount offered in bribes, the Sagittarian saint also managed to give the Roman official a thorough tongue lashing of shame, as well.

With the pontificating clergy’s “help”, the governor eventually was made to see the error of his money- making ways and proceeded to pardon the men by having each of their lives mercifully spared.
The Russian Orthodox Church embraced this Nicholean legend wholeheartedly as evidenced by the 1888 painting created by Ilya Rapin entitled “St. Nicholas Spares the Lives of Three Innocents Wrongfully Accused.”

Ilya Repin - St. Nicholas saves 3 innocents 1888

Ilya Rapin, “St. Nicholas Spares the Lives of Three Innocents”, 1888

I’ll See Your Jupiterian Deeds of Generosity & Mercy AND Raise the Dead

Here’s the story, of a man named Butcher.
Who was living with 3 boys of his own.
They were 4 men living in a famine all together,
yet they were not alone.”

Nicholas is also venerated as the patron saint of butchers…. and not because he made a killer rump roast. His association with those who work with meat and their by-products is stemmed in a deed of mercy and generosity that was divinely elevated to a miraculous state of the mutilated dead being raised back to life.

Legend tells of a famine hitting the Turkish coastal town of Myrna where Nicholas presided as bishop, along with the town’s surrounding areas and islands. Upon learning one island was particularly hard hit along with  its resident butcher being rumored to have taken drastic measures, the bishop immediately boarded ship and sailed to the island as fast as humanly possible. Despite his fast and furious last-minute approach, the saint’s speedy moves proved futile.

Nicholas was horrified to discover the butcher had actually butchered his own children. To further desecrate these heinous acts of filicide, the deranged man had already placed his sons’ bodies in a large salting tub which following adequate marinating, he intended to sell  their freshly sliced and diced flesh in the form of mystery meat pies on the black market.

Instead of hacking the butcher up some big slices of vendetta, the holy man instead fell to his knees and transferred every bit of his revved up fury into prayer.

And Lo! As the legend goes, the three boys were resurrected. Each son was brought back to life and even more importantly – all in one piece.

This powerful, all be it gruesome, tale was another embraced legend that was artistically immortalized as with the image below, a medieval depiction of the letter “S” embellished by the miracle of St. Nicholas resurrecting the three boys from the “S” as in “S”alting Tub.

S is for Salting Tub for your kids dismembered bodies

“S” is for “Salting Tub” or “Slaughtered Sons” or “Sliced-up Siblings”, whichever is most effective for memorization purposes.

At this point of our story, some might be wondering  how these legendary acts of generosity elevated Nicholas to the status of a Christian saint but they don’t necessarily explain how an icon of goodwill loved the world over such as Santa Claus came into being.

Enter Astrology.


All to be revealed in Chapter 4.

Brad Kronen’s 12 individualized book astrological dating series tailor made for each individual sign of the Zodiac entitled “Love in the Stars” is available for purchase on either Kindle or paperback on Amazon.com.

Link to Brad Kronen’s astrological dating series “Love in the Stars” on amazon.com

 

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