Home Forums All Things Catholic Saints with skewed holidays

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    There are a bunch of feast days for saints that have been skewed in their meaning by the secular realm. I often wonder how this occurred or even why people celebrate these holidays since the substance that was originally behind it has obviously been lost.

    Let’s see…here’s a few that I can think of:
    St. Valentine
    St. Patrick
    St. Nicholas
    Halloween/All Saints Day
    There’s already a thread about St. Valentine in this forum so I will comment on that here.

    St. Patrick’s Day, in the United States anyway, seems to be an excuse for people to go out and drink. I mean, I know the Irish are known for their drinking, but I doubt the idea was to get plastered because of a feast day.

    St. Nicholas has been integrated with the whole Santa Claus/commercialism ideal.

    Halloween is all about evil now (or so it seems).

    There are numerous other Catholic holidays and things that are now twisted around and made into an excuse to party. Take Mardi Gras in New Orleans for example. It’s turned into a “sin-all-you-can-before-Ash-Wednesday” event or for many people it is another excuse to go out and party and get drunk and act stupid.

    I just don’t get it.


    Dear J. Jakoblich

    you must have forgotten to leave your shoes out the past nite, so that St. Nickolas could leave you a treat! (Sorry I could not resist ribbing someone about that.)

    You are absolutely right though. I had the chance to sub teach a 5th grade ccd class the day after St. Nicholoas day. They were recounting all the games, and collectibles, and candy they received. One child actually received a hunting gun! (hunting is very much in the culture around here)

    But I am uplifted after listening to Catholic Radio (Relevant Radio in the mornings) The hosts of The Doctor is In, and other shows often give advice on how to celebrate the saints, and they give lots of advice on helping children to get the real meanings of these celebrations in fun ways. Also the folks who call in to these shows offer their suggestions also.

    So there is hope

    we just have to spread that Hope around!


    I just did some research on St. Nicholas, and I found that basically St. Nicholas and Santa Claus are very different people. Long ago, the legend of St. Nicholas got crossed with a legend of a pagan Scandanavian goat. In the US, Santa Claus’s image has undergone a lot, from being entirely forbidden in the 1600’s, to now becoming the commercialized icon of Christmas. Various poems, such as “The Night Before Christmas,” and the “Yes, Virgina, there is a Santa Claus” letter have all contributed to his current reputation. Actually, Coca-Cola had a large part of creating Santa’s modern look. In 1931, an artist was hired to drew Santa images for their advertisements.

    St. Nicholas, on the other hand, was the Bishop of Bari, Italy. Not much is known of him, but his legend states that he threw three bags of gold into the house of a father who was too poor for his daughters to marry. Because of St. Nicholas, the three daughters could marry and were saved from a life of sin. St. Nicholas is the patron saint of the young and the innocent, especially when they have been wronged. Ih the East he is patron of sailors due to his alleged appearance to sailors during a severe storm. In the West, his is known as the patron of children.


    [quote:3adltqqs]Dear J. Jakoblich

    you must have forgotten to leave your shoes out the past nite, so that St. Nickolas could leave you a treat! (Sorry I could not resist ribbing someone about that.)[/quote:3adltqqs]

    <img decoding=” title=”Very Happy” /> Well, I have nothing wrong with that because it is not Christmas Day and St. Nick is not being used to replace Jesus. I think the St. Nick day thing comes from that other tradition that Berrycat talked about.

    I just have a problem when people usurp the original meaning of a holiday with their own.

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