The Story of St. Nicholas

Once upon a time there lived far to the East a kind and humble man by the name of Bishop Nicholas. One day a story came to him that far in the West there was a large town, and in this town all were plagued by hunger, and many would likely not survive the cold winter. Bishop Nicholas called to his people who loved him, saying “Bring to me the fruits of your gardens and the fruits of your fields that we may still the hunger of the people in this town.” 

The people brought to him sacks bursting with wheat and baskets heaped full of apples and nuts, and on top lay honey cakes which the people had baked. Bishop Nicholas had all these things loaded onto a beautiful snow white ship with sails the color of the bluest sky. The wind blew into their sails and the ship flew across  the sea, and when the wind grew tired the sailors took to the oars and rowed on westward. Despite it all, still the journey was long and it was seven windy days and seven starry nights before they reached this town.

When they arrived in front of the town it was evening. The roads were empty, but the lights in the houses shone bright. Bishop Nicholas knocked at a window. The mother of the house thought a late wanderer had come seeking shelter and asked her child to open the door, but no one stood outside. Instead, there sat a basket heaped with apples and nuts, red and yellow, and a honey cake lay on top. By the basket stood a sack bursting with golden wheat grain. The people ate the gifts and once again became happy and healthy. 

Today Saint Nicholas is in the heavens. Every year on his birthday he starts his journey down to earth upon his white steed. The earth is far and wide, and where Saint Nicholas cannot go he asks kind and humble people to go in his place, bringing a basket of apples and nuts to remind them of how many hearts together can illuminate the darkness.

Photo by Josh Hild on

Please feel free to copy and use this story for your own St. Nicholas tradition. It is meant to be shared.

Wishing you a magical Saint Nicholas Day!



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