Saint Louis Byzantine Catholic Mission Parish

Saturday, December 9, 2000

Praise to Jesus Christ! Praise to Him forever!

Saturday, December 9, 2000, Divine Liturgy at 6:30 p.m. celebrating the Twenty-eighth Sunday after Pentecost (Tone 3)


Philip's Fast starts on December 10. Be sure to read all about it.


Christmas in the Slovak and Carpatho-Rusyn Tradition features traditons, customs, and kolady of Slovaks and Carpatho-Rusyns celebrating Christmas all over the world. It also has some great Slovak gift ideas.


We invite you to join us following the Divine Liturgy on Decemeber 9, 2000 for our annual Saint Nicholas Day Dinner. Saint Nicholas will be there with gifts for all the children. Admission is one covered dish.

If you are bringing children to the dinner, leave us email with their names and ages.

Saint Nicholas
Feast of Nicholas - 06 December

COPYRIGHT: Photograph 1996 by the Saint Louis Byzantine Catholic Mission Parish

The above photograph may not be reproduced by any means without the express written permission of
the Saint Louis Byzantine Catholic Mission Parish


watch our RealVideo Home Movie of Saint Nicholas's arrival at our parish Christmas party in Saint Louis, Missouri, December 1988 with the Hymn to Nicholas in both English and Old Slavonic.

Saint Nicholas, who died circa 350, was a bishop of the Christian church of Myra, in Lycia, Anatolia, about whom little is known with certainty. He is sometimes referred to as Saint Nicholas of Bari because his remains were supposedly translated there in 1087.

His reputation for generosity and compassion is best exemplified in the legend that relates how Nicholas saved from a life of sin the three daughters of a poor man. On three separate occasions the bishop is said to have tossed a bag of gold through the family's window, thus providing a dowry to procure for each daughter an honorable marriage.

The story provides the foundation for the custom, still followed in many countries, of giving gifts on the saint's feast day.

Saint Nicholas is the patron saint of Russia, of children, and of sailors. Variations of his name range from Sant Nikolaas to Sante Klaas to Santa Claus; he is known as Father Christmas in England, Grandfather Frost in Russia, Pere Noel in France, and Saint Nick in the United States.

A legendary figure who supposedly brings presents to children on Christmas Eve, Santa Claus is an American adaptation of European traditions concerning Saint Nicholas. These were introduced into America by the Dutch settlers in New Amsterdam.

The name Santa Claus is a contraction of the Dutch Sint Nikolaas (Sinter Klaas). In the United States, Saint Nicholas became associated with Christmas rather than December 6, his traditional feast day, and he developed into a purely secular figure. Most of the central features of the Santa Claus legend, such as his climb down the chimney and the switches he leaves for naughty children, are of Dutch origin. His red suit trimmed with white fur originated in the bishop's miter and cope worn by the Dutch saint.

His association with reindeer and the North Pole, however, apparently came from Scandinavia. These and other attributes of Santa Claus were popularized during the 19th century through the stories of Washington Irving, the cartoons of Thomas Nast, and the famous 1822 poem by Clement Moore, "A Visit from Saint Nicholas."

Male and female European counterparts of Santa Claus include the English Father Christmas, the German Kris Kringle, the Italian Befana, and Russia's grandmotherly Babouschka. Many of them have been influenced by the American conception of the figure.

December 6, is the Feast of Nicholas. The Feast of Nicholas is celebrated as a solemn holy day in the Byzantine Catholic Church. The Feast of Saint Nicholas has been celebrated by Eastern Christians, both Catholic and Orthodox, since 1088.


O who loves Nicholas the Saintly,
O who serves Nicholas the Saintly,
:Him will Nicholas receive.
And give help in time of need.
Holy Father Nicholas.

O kto, kto Nikolaja l'ubit,
O kto, kto Nikolaju Sluzit,
:Tomu svjatyj Nikolaj
Na vsjakij cas pomahaj
Nikolaj, Nikolaj.


The sincerity of your deeds has revealed to your people as a teacher of moderation, a model of faith, and an example of virtue. Therefore, you attained greatness through humility, and wealth through poverty. O Father and Archbishop Nicholas, ask Christ our God to save our souls.


The just man will rejoice in the Lord and will put his trust in Him. V. Hear my voice, O God, when I pray to you.


It happened 84 years ago in a small mining town in western Pennsylvania called Jacob's Creek. The miners of the Darr Mine were requested to work on the Feast of Nicholas. Two hundred of the miners chose not to work but attend the Divine Liturgy celebrating the Feast of Nicholas at their local church.

An explosion occurred at the mine during the Divine Liturgy killing over two hundred men. The lives of the Greek (Byzantine) Catholics were saved by their devotion to Nicholas.


Dear Editor:

I am eight years old. Some of my little friends say there is no Santa Claus. Papa says, `If you see it in the Sun it's so.' Please tell me the truth; is there a Santa Claus?

Virginia O'Hanlon, 115 West Ninety-Fifth Street

That letter was received by a New York newspaper one day decades ago, but it is a question that eventually all children will ask. It is hard to explain to them such things, concepts of love and giving, of selflessness and charity, of magic and imagination....

The reply to little Virgina's letter became famous, because it spoke of the joys of the human heart, and the expression of love and giving as portrayed by the man in the red suit. Santa Claus has become a cultural icon for the joys of giving.

Here is that letter. Please share it with your family this holiday season, and remember it whenever despair threatens to shake YOUR belief.... in Santa Claus.


Your little friends are wrong. They have been affected by the skepticism of a skeptical age. They do not believe except what they see. They think that anything can be which is not comprehensible by their little minds. All minds, Virginia, whether they be men's or children's, are little. In this great universe of ours man is a mere insect, an ant, in his intellect, as compared with the boundless world about him, as measured by the intelligence capable of grasping the whole of truth and knowledge.

Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus. He exists as certainly as love and generosity and devotion exist, and you know that they abound and give to your life its highest beauty and joy. Alas! How dreary would be the world if there were no Santa Claus. lt would be as dreary as if there were no Virginias. There would be no childlike faith then, no poetry, no romance, to make tolerable this existence. We should have no enjoyment, except in sense and sight. The eternal light with which childhood fills the world would be extinguished.

Not believe in Santa Claus! You might as well not believe in fairies! You might get your papa to hire men to watch in all the chimneys on Christmas Eve to catch Santa Claus, but even if they did not see Santa Claus coming down, what would that prove? Nobody sees Santa Claus, but this is no sign that there is no Santa Claus. The most real things in the world are those that neither children nor men can see. Did you ever see fairies dancing on the lawn? Of course not, but that's no proof that they are not there. Nobody can conceive or imagine all the wonders there are unseen and unseeable in the world.

You tear apart the baby's rattle and see what makes the noise inside, but there is a veil covering the unseen world which not the strongest man, nor even the united strength of all the strongest men that ever lived, could tear apart. Only faith, fancy, poetry, love, romance, can push aside that curtain and view and picture the supernal beauty and glory beyond. Is it all real? Ah, Virginia, in all this world there is nothing else real and abiding.

No Santa Claus! Thank God! He lives, and he lives forever. A thousand years from now, Virginia, nay, ten times ten thousand years from now, he will continue to make glad the heart of childhood.

Francis Pharcellus Church


Be sure to read Christmas East and West by Steven Hawkes-Teeples. There is also an e-mail link on the page so you can reply to him in Rome.


The Eparchy of Parma is now on line. Stop by their web site and take a look around.


The Saint Louis Byzantine Catholic Mission Parish has open dates for Divine Liturgy intentions starting with January 2001.

If you would like a Byzantine Rite Divine Liturgy celebrated for your special intention, please see us after the Divine Liturgy or give us a call. Reserve your dates now.


We invite you to join us for Evening Prayers. See Mike Kovac after the Divine Liturgy tonight or give him a call at (314) 771-7434.


The weekly bulletin for the Saint Louis Byzantine Catholic Mission Parish will now be available on the internet every week at We invite you to stop by and pick up a copy. Pass the word along.

You can now contact Father Joseph Weber and Father Eugene Selzer directly from the Saint Louis Byzantine Catholic Mission page via email.


The Eparchy of Parma Stewardship Appeal for 2000 started. Turn in your pledge cards as soon as possible.

We are only one third of the way to our goal for 2000.


We invite you to take a Virtual Tour of the Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis and hope you can join us for a celebration of the Divine Liturgy in person.


The Holy Ghost Byzantine Catholic Choir of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania has released a video of the Divine Liturgy in Slavonic. Visit the Holy Ghost Choir page for more information and ordering instructions.


Confessions are available after all of our Saturday Divine Liturgies at the Saint Louis Cathedral. Please see the priest after the Divine Liturgy.


Why not invite a friend or neighbor to a Divine Liturgy at the Saint Louis Byzantine Catholic Mission Parish. Help spread the word of the Byzantine Rite in the Saint Louis area. One person can make a difference. Do your part in making us better known.

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