Today is the eve of the feast day of Św. Mikołaj (St. Nicholas) who in Polish tradition brings children small gifts as a reward for knowing their prayers and catechism. The figure of St. Nicholas in his bishop's clothes, mitered hat and crozier is based on a person who lived and breathed and was once bishop of Myra in Asia Minor (now Turkey). He was and still is revered in both the Greek and Latin Church. He is the patron saint of many cities in Poland including Głogowa, Chrzanowa and Bydgość.
This year as part of the celebration of 1050 years of Christianity in Poland, the city of Elbląg petitioned the pope and was granted the honor of having St. Nicholas declared the patron saint of the city. Even though there are seven churches in Elbląg with its famous Katedra Św. Mikołaj named after this saint, he was chosen as the patron of the city because he is still seen as the embodiment of mercy, kindness and charity.
Since the time of the Middle Ages, Św. Mikołaj was (but not limited to) being the patron saint of sailors, fishermen, and bargemen who traveled the rivers and seas. Elbląg, one of the main ports on the Baltic, was and is still a city that lives by the shipping trade. It has been associated with the Hanseatic League, a confederation of market towns that stretched from the Baltic to the North sea since the Middle Ages. The celebration of the establishment of the patron saint of the city will be held on December 6, the day of his death sometime in the fourth century, with mass said at the 13th century Katedra Św Mikołaj (Cathedral of St. Nicholas) in that city.
One of the biggest moments in my life was being able to sign for my very own library card. When I'm not reading, researching and writing I'm riding my bike, sewing or gardening. I love flea markets, folk art, and traveling to Poland.