ST. NICHOLAS - SAINT OF KINDNESS -
FATHER TO THE POOR
Acrylic on archival quality masonite
St. Nicholas, when hearing that three young girls, who were poverty stricken, could not afford a dowry and would be driven into prostitution, placed three bags of coins through the family window.
He also calmed the sea more than once when seeing that sailors were perishing. Many know him as Santa Claus, due to the ‘gift giving’ that he was so famous for.
But there is more to this saint.
When all the world was falling prey to the heresy of Arianism, which denied that Christ ‘always was’, and also denied Christ as being equal with the Father,
Nicholas was one of the bishops who gathered at the Council of Nicaea. At that Council the Nicene Creed was proclaimed stating that Christ was ’consubstantial with the Father.’
One story, which cannot be proven tells that St. Nicholas, while at the Council, in a heated debate with Arius, slapped Arius in the face.
St. Athanasius was the greatest defender of the faith against Arius, when most bishops fell prey to this heresy, and he was exiled more than once for speaking the truth and defending the faith. Nicholas was one of a small number who defended the church's teachings alongside Athanasius.
In the painting I placed the three girls sitting, eating fruit, brought by Nicholas out of his great kindness and the basket contains the bags of coins that he gave to prevent their dire situation. He wields his power over the turbulent sea and calms it, just as the Master had done. His bishop's mitre has a blue star on it, surrounded by 12 stars in honor of Stella Maris, Mary, Star of the Sea. The lily in the foreground represents his defence of the Holy Trinity, as always taught by the Catholic Church
since the very beginning.