Easter blessings from UCAN
There is no more important week in the year for Christians than this Holy Week. We call it Holy because of the mystery we celebrate - God's gift of His son who loves us to his death on Calvary and beyond.
Because of that love, we wish each other Happy Easter even when we know there is a lot of tragedy about it - Good Friday. As Christians, we know that what we see happening with and in Jesus goes to the heart of what we know from our own experience of life.
At the Second Vatican Council, the Christian lives we all lead were described as being shares in the Paschal Mystery. We have our share in the death and resurrection of Jesus every day. Our lives are part of the Paschal Mystery.
At UCAN, we work to describe that mystery in the unfolding tragedies and astonishing blessings of the people we seek out and report, feature and comment on.
While at times deeply distressing work, this effort of ours gets its coherence in the same way the death of Jesus did - because of the astonishing grace of a God who never gives up on life and love.
Because of that, we can wish you Happy Easter.
Fr. Michael Kelly SJ
- December 6, 2012
But first the fragments of history: Nicholas, a devout pilgrim, was made bishop of Myra by popular acclaim; he suffered under the emperor Diocletian, in the last Roman persecution, and was imprisoned. Later released under Constantine, he even attended the great Council of Nicea in 325.
The legends celebrate his reputation for generosity and kindness, specially his almsgiving under the condition of anonymity to those in need. The most celebrated legend is about how he saved the reputation of three poor young women by giving them each a purse of gold as a dowry. The people of Myra celebrated this generosity after he died with their own sharing of gifts to children and those in need. This has now become the occasion of gift-giving at Christmas from ‘Santa Claus’, a corruption of the name ‘Saint Nicholas’, a tubby old man in red who bestows presents on children from a sleigh drawn by reindeer.
Thus do legends preserve as well as distort details of what really took place ages ago.
Nicholas is a popular name in Russia, Greece and Sicily, where Christians still remember this saint whose generosity to the needy has made him an icon for all time.