Saint Nicholas of Myra, December 6

St, NicholasSt. Nicholas could well be the most popular saint.  He is a patron and benefactor of children–gift-giver at Christmas and through history credited with many miracles.

In a sermon St. Bonaventure told about Nicholas travelling to the Council at Nicea when he entered an inn where the innkeeper had just killed 2 boys who could not pay their bill.  Nicholas brought the boys back to life and converted the innkeeper.

Another famous story tells how Nicholas was aware of a desperately poor father of 3 daughters who was about the put them out on the street.  Three times Nicholas threw a purse filled with gold through an open window to provide dowry money for each girl to get married.  The third time, the father waited, hiding, to see who was helping him.  When he recognized Nicholas, he fell at his feet, penitent.  From then on he spread the word of Nicholas’ goodness.

Born in Lycia, Nicholas ruled a large monastery, was imprisoned for a time for his faith, and was Archbishop of Myra at his death.


Source:  Lives of the Saints by Omer Englebert

The Feast of St. Andrew the Apostle

St. Andrew the Apostle

St. Andrew the Apostle El Greco 1606 - Oil on Canvas Museo del Greco - Toledo

Andrew was born in Bethsaida in Galilee, son of Jona and brother of Simon Peter. The three were fishermen on Lake Tiberius (the Sea of Galilee).

Andrew first met Jesus in Bethany where John the Baptist was baptizing. John 1:35-42 tells the story of Jesus walking by with 2 disciples and Andrew recognized Him as the Savior saying, “Look, this is the Lamb of God.” Andrew went to tell his brother right away and brought him to Jesus. The brothers kept on with their fishing at that time, but when John was imprisoned and Jesus went to live in Capernaum, the two “dropped their nets immediately and followed Him.” Mt. 4:17-20

From then on, Andrew is not mentioned individually in the Gospel (though he was the one who told Jesus about the boy with the 5 loaves and two fishes in the feeding of the 5000, Jn. 6:8).

After the crucifixion, tradition says Andrew carried the Gospel into districts around the Black Sea and died at Patras in Achaia on an X-shaped cross. This kind of cross was named after him.

Andrew is the patron saint of fishermen and women wishing to have children.

Source: Lives of the Saints by Omer Englebert

St. Augustine


Augustine was born in 354 A.D. in Hippo, N. Africa. He entered into catechumens and school as a young boy. At 17, he went to Carthage for school and took up many excesses in living as well.  He fathered a child with a woman he lived with for 15 years.  His mother, St. Monica, is renowned for never ceasing to pray for Augustine.

He continued in this way for years, also establishing his own schools of rhetoric and grammar. In Milan he met Bishop Ambrose and learned of God and Jesus Christ.  This began a battle which he fought many years.  Wishing to surrender to Christianity, he was bound by his iron will.  He said, “give me chastity, but not yet awhile”.  In 386, he won the battle—experiencing a powerful conversion to Christ.  He went to live in community with his family and friends, praying and studying to become a new man in Christ.

In N. Africa, after his mother’s death, he began writing and teaching again.  He had no desire to become a priest, but was ordained assistant to the Bishop of Hippo and established a sort of monastery next to the church, following the example of the apostles. Possessions were renounced and meals and routines simple.  He preached and served there 35 years.

Known to be friendly and affectionate; he opposed sin, but with meekness and love.  Augustine protected the faith and influenced many with his letters and sermons.  He fell ill and died reading penitential psalms August 28, 430 at the age of 76. The fullest knowledge and understanding of Augustine comes in reading his confessions and many other writings.

Source:  Butler’s Lives of the Saints, Complete Edition, Volume III, edited, revised and supplemented by Herbert Thurston, S.J. and Donald Attwater

Links to Writings:

The Confessions (397–401)

The City of God (413–426)

On Christian Doctrine (396–426)

On the Trinity (400-416)

Handbook on Faith, Hope and Love (Enchiridion) (421–424)


Letters of St Augustine (386–429)