Today is the feast of St. Nicholas, bishop and confessor who attended the Council of Nicea and was instrumental in drawing up the Nicene Creed but who is more widely known today as Santa Claus (how the mighty have fallen). He was renowned for his generosity and care for the poor, but there was another side to him, a side that most people have no idea existed.
At the aforementioned Council of Nicea, St. Nicholas punched Arius, founder of the Arian Heresy, for denying the Divinity of Christ. This naturally caused a shock–whether he was a heretic or not, you simply didn’t punch people at ecumenical councils. The other bishops at the council stripped Nicholas of his bishop’s garments and had him thrown in jail for assault.
“But how did he go on to become Santa Claus?” you’re probably asking at this point. Well, that night the Lord and the Blessed Virgin visited St. Nicholas in his cell, and when asked why he was in jail, the bishop responded that it was for love of his Lord. This response pleased Christ, and he gave St. Nicholas a book of the Gospels; the Blessed Virgin gave him a stole that represented his status as a bishop.
Here’s where it gets really interesting–the emperor and the bishop who was presiding over the council both saw this visit in their dreams that night, and in the morning they went to visit St. Nicholas to determine if what they had seen was real. When they saw his reading the book he had received from Our Lord the night before and wearing the stole that Our Lady had given him, they were convinced. St. Nicholas was released from jail and returned to the council.
There’s actually a really neat video about this story that you can watch here:
I survived another year of National Blog Post Writing Month! There were a couple of close calls throughout the month, but I still managed to deliver. So if you don’t see any posts from me for awhile, it’s because my brain is recovering.
Today is also the First Sunday of Advent.
Sherlockians, rejoice! We can now confirm dates for the long-awaited broadcast of season 3! The first episode, “The Empty Hearse”, premieres on January 1 on BBC1 in the UK and January 19 on PBS is the US. This is momentous news because this time there will not be any insanely long waits for the US fans; we get the new season in the same month! Finally we’ll know how he survived his fall!
Boy, we get a Doctor Who regeneration at Christmas and a brand new Sherlock episode a week later! This is fantastic!
…Although I don’t know why we get so excited over this because we’re only getting three episodes again.
Now that Thanksgiving is over, the mad rush of Christmas preparations is set to begin–okay, in some places it’s already begun. For what it’s worth, I’m going to ask people to please be less nutsy this year! As I’ve gotten older, I’ve become more and more aware of how Christmas ads keeping popping up further and further away from Christmas itself–seriously, I was seeing Christmas ads two weeks before Halloween this year! Does anyone even start their Christmas shopping that early!? (If they start showing up in September, I’m absconding to one of those furnished caves in Arizona.) But even if no one actually starts shopping that early, it’s at least getting them into a frenzied buying mindset.
I guess what I’m trying to say is stop trying to celebrate Christmas so early! It gets here when it gets here, but rushing into it can make us less appreciative of the other holidays.
It’s Thanksgiving once again, that wonderful time of year when we all take time out from your lives to be grateful for everything we have. It would be even more wonderful if I hadn’t started seeing Christmas commercials two weeks before Halloween, but that’s another story.
As I said last year, you don’t just have to be grateful for the big things–it seems that every year people talk about how their thankful for God, friends, family, good food, good housing, etc. Don’t get me wrong; those are all super-important things to be thankful for, but just don’t forget about the little things as well, things like favorite TV shows or good times with friends. For example, I’m thankful I had the chance to watch “The Day of the Doctor” in a theater with my friends, for discovering the musical likes of Gregorian and Lindsey Stirling, for having an opportunity to learn the violin, and for falling in love with Redwall all over again over the summer.
So give thanks for everything today! Just don’t forget the small stuff.
Yes, yes, it was announced several months ago, but I forgot to post about it. But since today is the day the tour premieres in Rhode Island, it’s rather appropriate to write about it now.
The grand, glorious US tour of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Phantom of the Opera stars Mark Campbell as the Phantom, Ben Jacoby as Raoul, and Julia Rose Udine and Grace Morgan sharing the role of Christine. I will admit that I’m not sure how epic this cast will rate since I’m not especially familiar with any of these performers (although Mark Campbell’s name sounds awfully familiar), but at the same time I realize that they would not just cast any old people. Phantom is a rigorous production that requires the best of the best, and I’m sure they’ll deliver.
You can see the entire cast listing at the official US tour website, and you can watch a preview of the production in the clip below. This footage was taken from the UK tour, but the US version will have the same sets and costumes, just different actors (which makes me sad because I would have loved to see John Owen-Jones as the Phantom).
Yep, I’m on a roll with the Doctor Who posts, and this one came about after going to see the 50th anniversary special in the theater (which was awesome, by the way). Although it was an extremely enjoyable experience, there was one slightly disappointing thing–hardly anyone in the audience caught or understood the classic Doctor Who references. Mentions of things like reversing the polarity of the neutron flow or the ever-decreasing ages of the companions got only scattered snorting, and–I hate to admit this–but Tom Baker’s appearance at the end received scarcely any applause at all! It was so sad.
My viewing at the theater cemented in my mind the need for more people to watch the classic episodes of Doctor Who; its history is so rich that it’s a shame to ignore it simply because someone is only familiar with the reboot. But thanks to the 50th anniversary special, people just may start watching the old episodes again.