Celebrating the Feast of St. Nicholas

Today is the Feast Day of Saint Nicholas! He is the is the patron saint of children; since his feast day falls during Advent our young students at Monsignor Slade are able to enjoy an especially fun tradition as their anticipation builds while counting down the weeks of Advent. According to tradition, if a child leaves his or her shoe out on St. Nicholas’ feast day, the saint will leave treats for children who are being good and coal as a warning for those who have not in hopes they’ll improve their behavior before Christmas.

Our students in preschool and kindergarten enjoyed an age-old tradition today. They left their shoes outside their classrooms in case St. Nicholas might leave them a little treat. Our kindergarten students also made and modeled the Bishop’s hat worn by St. Nicholas. The children in Pre-K2, Pre-K3, Pre-K4 and Kindergarten were delighted to find a sweet treat in their shoe! And, thankfully, all shoes made it back to their rightful owners!

Continue the St. Nicholas celebration at home during Advent with this Candy Cane Blessing (source: The Catholic Company):

St. Nicholas Day Candy Cane Blessing Prayer
Good St. Nicholas, we honor you
on this your holy feast day.
We rejoice that you are the patron saint
and the holy symbol of joy
for many peoples of many lands.

Come, great-hearted saint,
and be our patron and companion
as we, once again, prepare our homes and hearts
for the great feast of Christmas,
the birth of the Eternal Blessing, Jesus Christ.

May these sweets, these candy canes,
be a sign of Advent joy for us.
May these candy canes,
shaped just like your Bishop’s staff,
be for us a sign of your benevolent care.

We rejoice that you are the holy bringer of gifts
and that so many have been delighted
through your great generosity.
Help us to be as generous of heart.

Wherever these candy canes are hung,
on tree or wall or door,
may they carry with them
the bright blessing of God.
May all who shall taste them
experience the joy of God
upon their tongues and in their hearts.

We ask God, now, to bless
these your brightly striped sweets
in the name of the Father,and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.