St Nicholas: How he came to be considered the patron saint of children
A pretty Catholic legend tells how St. Nicholas came to be considered the patron saint of children.
One day passing by a wretched house, he heard weeping within. Stepping softly to the open window, he heard a father lamenting the wretched fate to which his three lovely young daughters were doomed by poverty.
St. Nicholas’s gentle heart was touched. He returned at night, and threw in at the window three bags of gold, sufficient for the dowry of the girls. His kindness to them and to many others equally wretched made him regarded as the especial benefactor of children.
In Russia, he is revered as the chief saint of the Greek Church, but in Germany, Switzerland, Holland and Austria, it is as the children’s saint that he is chiefly honored.
The good Dutch burghers who founded New Amsterdam placed the little settlement under his care. It has grown to be the great city of New York, but his name is no less honored in the splendid metropolis than in the humble Dutch town.