Today, December 6, is the Feast of Saint Nicholas.
When I was 12 and preparing for my Confirmation in the Roman Catholic Church, I chose St. Nicholas as my personal Saint. I distinctly remember why I chose the name: I liked it. Nicola. Long before it became so popular again, I thought it rang beautifully in the mouth and would match well with my other names. (I have three middle names). Of course, I couldn’t say that.
The day of confirmation arrived. Our church, St. Monica’s in Santa Monica, California looked like this:
and the interior was stunning:
and contrasted sharply with the church I grew up with before we moved to Santa Monica:
You might be surprised to know that that is the church of Our Lady of Malibu. Very simple and plain and, in my heart, where I go when somebody needs a special intersession.
Back to the Confirmation Day, in St. Monica’s. The visiting Bishop, or perhaps, Archbishop, or even the Cardinal – he was eminent and we were on our very best behavior for the day – addressed us and, at some point, called on a few of us to say why we had selected our particular Saint.
I’d fought for St. Nicholas as the Church was culling Saints they felt weren’t true Saints and St. Nicholas was in jeopardy. Or, more likely, the priests and nuns in charge of my care knew perfectly well why I had chosen the name. Laughter, it has taken me until just now to even suspect that.
He called out to me to stand and tell the congregation of the Saint I’d chosen. I stood, knees knocking a bit. I was the same kid who had her first confession and had misunderstood the the words, which should have been “I am heartily sorry,” and instead I’d said, “I’m hardly sorry….”
“My choice is Saint Nicholas, sir.”
His voice echoed through and around the sky reaching pillars. “I see. And why did you chose him?”
It was make or break time for me and St. Nick. Appealing to both God and St. Nicholas for help, I said, “Because he was loving and giving and I wish to be able to become more loving and giving.”
SOLD! And, in truth, that is exactly what has occurred as the years moved on. I was a Friday’s Child and the poem reads,
Monday’s Child is fair of face,
Tuesday’s Child is full of grace,
Wednesday’s Child is full of woe,
Thursday’s Child has far to go,
Friday’s Child is loving and giving,
Saturday’s Child works hard for his living,
but Sunday’s Child …is perfect.
Well, I am no Sunday’s Child, but I am Friday’s Child and St. Nicholas’ child. He has worked overtime on my behalf and I honor him to the best of my ability.
Post Script: For anyone interested in those three middle names, here is an earlier post…
Post Post Script: Even curiousior, I wonder if it was before or after “Jane’s” dabbling in witchcraft. Things that make you say “hmmmm.” 😉