Wednesday, December 5, 2007

On Santa and how he immigrated to Ireland

According to Irish tradition, which appears to have some possible basis in fact, Saint Nicholas may very well have been an Irish immigrant. Yes, you may know that he was St. Nicholas of Myra and spent his youth in Turkey. According to the story, however, he may have unknowingly been moved to the land of Eire after his passing by Irish-Norman knights traveling home from the crusades in the Holy Land.

Take a look at the Saint Nicholas Center's Discovering the Truth About Santa Claus website for the full story along with a photo of what is believed to be the gravestone of Saint Nicholas himself.

The site has a charming poem written about the legend (should we call it that?) by Bill Watkins. I've included a two-stanza preview here. Visit the Saint Nicholas Center website for the rest.

The Bones of Santa Claus

An Irish Saint Nicholas Folk Tale

by Bill Watkins

Where lie the bones of Santa Claus
To what holy spot each pilgrim draws?
Which crypt conceals his pious remains
Safe from the wild wind, snows and rains?...

...That saint protector of the child
Whose relics pure lie undefiled
His casket safe within it's shrine
Where the shamrocks grow and rose entwine...

True or not true, it sure makes a good story. Thanks be to God for the Irish and their gift of blarney.

The topic for this post was inspired by Thomas MacEntee's Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories at Destination: Austin Family. Check out his calendar daily this month for some good mini-memoirs of this nostalgic season. This post will be listed under Santa Claus on December 6.

1 comment:

barbara said...

Hi Lisa,
Thank you for sending me to your website ! That was a very interesting story about Saint Nicolas.

Saint Nicolas also happens to be revered in some parts of France ( Imyself live outside of Paris, where unfortunately Saint Nicolas is unknown), of which Eastern France.My husband has some of his origins over here.This region is called "La lorraine" .They have parades, where there is Saint Nicolas,and the "Père Fouetard", litterally called the Whipper Father. This second one is supposed to scare bad children with his whip, while Saint Nicolas rewards the good ones with candy.

Saint Nicolas is also celebrated in the North of France, and in some neighboring countries around France (Germany,Belgium).

I will come back soon to read this blog. Keep up the good work !

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