Damascene 676-749. The Icon or Image Doctor, Feast Dec
Christians worldwide are greatly in debt to St John. His
holy life and heroic courage is monumental. He defended and
safeguarded the veneration of sacred images, statues and icons for
us. His example provides us an opportunity to honor images of God
passion toward holy images gave him great consolation and we should
be reminded that God too is mysteriously consoled when we do God's holy will in all things and turn to him in devout prayer. There is a profound
and powerful story told through the Shroud of Turin in a link that you can view in this section when you scroll down.
Johnís life and bravery helped
save our images and icons. The church greatly honors him as the
Icon or Image Doctor for his efforts in safeguarding our traditions
and in defeating the oppressive Iconoclasm. For over one hundred
years, this pernicious heresy raged.
The Iconoclasts (the
name means breakers of icons) were a religious group who opposed the
veneration of images. They belonged to the Eastern Christians.
Ironically, John lived and belonged to the Eastern Christians having
lived in Damascus, Syria. He lived under Moslem rule most of his
life. Eminent scholars state that John lived closed to one hundred
years old. I have used dates from tradition that indicated
He followed his father in government
under Arabs but resigned after a few years and spent most of his
life in a monastery near Jerusalem. He wrote exclusively about
Eastern Christians and is considered the last of the Greek Fathers.
Poetry was one of John's strengths and he had a deep devotion to
Jesus' blessed Mother. His sermons on Mary and her feasts are well
St John Damascene defended and guarded the church's
understanding of images and explained the faith of the church in
several other controversies. His main, daily goal was to practice
daily prayer, obedience and virtue. He accepted everything including
any suffering and united it to Mary's Son who died for
John's book, Exposition of the Orthodox Faith, is to the
Eastern Church what the The Summa Theologica of St Thomas Aquinas became to the
West. His service, achievements and contributions to the church and
its members are matchless and extraordinary.
His defense of
the icons caused him to be hated by the persecuting emperors. The
Iconoclast were not content with making their case with word and
pen. They rampaged about, entering churches, knocking down and
defacing sacred images. John felt obliged to challenge this
destructive heresy and its accompanying violence. He did so in a
series of treatises defending the church's longstanding tradition.
He encouraged the veneration of icons, not obviously as objects of
divine worship, but as aids to devotion and sanctification. Due largely to his work, the Iconoclast heresy
retreated into history.
Officials in Damascus were enraged by
John's public disdain for wealth and power. Trumped-up charges where
leveled against John's honesty to discredit him with the people when
he worked for them. It is said that the caliph ordered John's right
hand to be severed and hung up in the marketplace as an example to
all. It was told that it was done.
Icons tell us a
story and were originally used before print. They are full of
symbols, meaning and truths for you to enjoy and cherish. Icons, especially
of Jesus and Mary, are powerful and provocative and
reveal many godly virtues and attributes.
What marvels Mary
does for her true servants who surrender to God in all things. The
rejoining of Johnís hand to his arm is a reminder of how God united
Maryís body and soul after her dormition (holy sleep). As Godís
mother was united body and soul through supernatural power, so to,
does God, especially through his Mother, have the power to unite any
separations of body or soul here on earth and certainly afterwards
in heaven. Faith and prayer unite our body and soul gloriously
wherever we practice sincere, faithful prayer, charity, and love.
Some may say
that John's hand restoration is a legend but faith, too, results in
achievements and gifts that are considered impossible. Shall we call
miracles legend or impossible? Perhaps some legends may be faith
John's petitions and prayers to the holy Mother of
God moved God to restore his hand to full use. This was in spite of
the long, red scar that wrapped around his right wrist and lower
arm. It did not happen immediately. It was painful. But it happened.
Oh! The extraordinary favors God bestows through his Mother. John's
example is but one listed in Janice Connell's superb book entitled,
Meeting Mary. Prayer conquers God. God is defenseless by our prayers
and if you get his Mother on your side, all prayers are
unquestionably answered. Health and zeal for God's glory consumed
this faithful son of the Blessed Virgin Mary especially after his
healing. St Johnís writings have always been a source of
Damascene fell in love looking at images of
Jesus, Mary and the saints. He was enthralled about them. The holy
face of Jesus mesmerized him. The sensuous body, face and especially
the eyes of Mary enraptured him. He was in ecstasy when he looked at
icons, pictures, and sacred objects. He prayed as he looked. That is
the triumphant secret! Faith is as having eyes-mystical
Even if one is physically blind, they are able to
perceive stupendous sights. How is this possible? It is a scientific
fact that believing is a form of knowing and thus of seeing or
understanding. It can not be proven. It is like seeing the sun. We
can not actually see the sun. It is too far and bright. We only see the light
of the sun. Similarly, understanding is a spiritual gift gained by virtue and grace and provides sight
and light. Sin results through lack of virture and graces and causes our understanding to become
spiritually blind, obfuscated, and confused in darkness. Those who are spiritually blind, understand
and know God and creatures on limited level. They
Prayers can change everything into beauty and spiritual sight. The
things themselves do not change. We see with new depths as we look.
Our vision is enhanced and dimensionalized. Our perception is more
acute. We begin to see things and understand tremendous, new truths
from Godís perspective. We grasp things supernaturalized. In short,
prayer opens vistas in untold dimensions. We can say that prayer
gives us a new depth perception-both spiritual and actual. Since God
is omnidirectional, the Almighty is constantly sending and receiving graces in
all directions unlimitedly and unremittingly. As God is omnificient,
his love is infinitely creative resulting in fullness of varieties, categories and forms.
revealed in the visible and invisible world. The holy One is without
and within. God is ubiquitous. God is also omnipresent. The Supreme
Being is both operatively active and existentially active. His
thought is his presence and his presence is omnivorous-taking in,
absorbing and holding everything in existence. The Spirit teaches us
this and the saints confirm it. Thanks to St John, the church
enables us to find God in all representations. This is especially
true in religious images, pictures, icons, symbols, mosaics or
statues. The material can be in gold, silver or any precious
material or substance. No matter its exterior, fine or crude.
Because of our faith, we believe God became man and we find God in
our flesh. The Word became Flesh.
The Infinite wants to
soothe and excite us. The Almighty can calm us and arouse us. We
have God's built-in feelings but they are often disarrayed, out of
order and unfocused because of our human condition. Virtue, grace
and gifts help to harmonize, fine-tune and elevate our feelings and
Dostoevski, the famous Russian novelist,
exclaimed that the world would be saved by beauty. What did he mean?
The church illuminates our hearts and minds through St John. He knew
the answer. He was enraptured by holy beauty: the beauty of holy
objects. Dostoevski stated it. John saved it. When we supplicate
John to capture his message, we can be sure that we will appreciate
what both men said.
Beauty, we all know, is in the eyes of
the beholder. There is external beauty and interior beauty. One
flows into the other as the rivers into the oceans. One can receive
as much excitement, if not more, by looking at a statue, even an
unattractive one, with the eyes of faith than a beautiful sunset,
jewel or charming model. Excitement and joy can come from within or
without. They can both be spiritual and natural. They are from
inside and outside. Enjoyment and pleasure flow back and forth,
enriching and captivating us every second. We do not have to be an
art connoisseur to appreciate beauty. It's in nature, secular
objects and everywhere, not only religious
Governments throughout the world place
statues in public places to help us appreciate not only art and
beauty but to inspire us with themes of patriotism and religion. In
Washington DC as one example we can see religious statues of St
Vincent de Paul, Buddha, Joan of Arc, John Wesley, the prophet
Daniel, Mohandas K. Gandhi and Martin Luther to name but a few.
These sights have the power to enable us to turn to the Creator in
praise and thanksgiving for their heroic lives and
Because prayer is so powerful and beneficial, the
church, scripture and Godís Mother encourages us to pray until our
praying becomes joy and joyous. Thatís how long we should pray. The saints had
to tear themselves away from prayer because it became a holy
intoxication that prevented them from doing Godís will (if they
didnít control it). Remember that God is an intense and jealous
Lover and God plays for keeps. God doesnít let us go. However, he
gives us the wisdom to know where, when, and how frequently we should
pray. Obviously, God wants our life to become a prayer and we have
to determine set times when we should set aside for him based upon our
responsibilities, duties and mission in life. Faithful prayers will
eventually be graced with Godís presence continually according to
the holy will of God.
Through the eyes of faith we see and
unearth heavenly beauty. It can excite, enrapture and seize us
profoundly. God can truly ďturn us on.Ē We may have to politely
inform God to stop it. It can be too much, too often, and our senses
cannot handle God's beauty. It could drive us deliriously mad. Our
soul can handle it because it is God's domain. Our bodies just get
in the way. Holy Scriptures states clearly: "No one can see God and
live." God's beauty is so vibrant and powerful that it overpours and
overpowers itself into the interior of our soul out into the body. However,
it can also flow in the reverse directions: body into the soul. We
generally are not equipped to handle it except through long
practice. Practice makes perfect with patience.
that those who have written about John and his contributions,
especially in the area of images, also profoundly inspire the
faithful. Joan Carroll Cruz, among other gifted writers, has written
two beautiful books entitled, Miraculous Images of Our Lady followed
by Miraculous Images of our Lord. The images and pictures contained
in these books are utterly magnificent and indescribable! Jesus and
Mary are represented in art, images, pictures, icons and statues in
nearly every country in the world, regardless of religion. These
images truly inspire us as we gaze into these pages of breathtaking
beauty. Obviously, those who write about Our Lord and Lady provide
for the Churchís members a most fitting tribute to Jesus and his
The next time you look at a holy object, remember to
thank John. Next time you see something that is not holy, ask John
to help you substitute something holy in its place which is not
obvious to you. God has made our bodies not only good but very good.
Married couples, consecrated in marriage, are suppose to see their
beautiful, naked bodies, at appropriate times. That is a holy and
beautiful site. But to look at what some may consider gorgeous, naked bodies in porn
magazines or other visible or imaginary forms can be the direct
opposite of beautiful, or grotesque, and certainly not holy and detrimental to the soul's
is God's holiness. For enriching spiritually, the eyes must follow the soul and not the soul
follow the eyes. Faith gives us pure vision. Sight is blind before
When holy men, women and children mortify their eyes on
certain occasions, they act upon the impulse and direction of God's
Holy Spirit dwelling within them to stay holy and live in the holy
fear of God which is a special gift of the Spirit. We do not have
total free reign to indulge in lewd or immodest thoughts, sites,
touches or sounds if we care to please God who is perfect, Beauty,
and wants our hearts, feelings, eyes, and ears for himself.
holy and until we draw our last breath there is always something
sacred within us even though we are imperfect or sinful. Nothing
stays in existence except to help us love and grow in charity. Pray
that you may perceive according to the holy will of God in all
things as John.
From John's writings: "Since there are
certain people who find great fault with us for honoring images of
our Savior and our Lady, let them listen to the inspired (St) Basil,
so versed in Theology: The honor paid to the image rebounds to the
original, and the original is the thing imaged from which the copy
is made. Honor given to holy fellow servants gives proof of love for
the common Master. This is our written traditionĒ. See Saint Basil, Doctor of the Church below.
St. Basil 1/2
God are copious in the written word especially the bible. God is the
eternal Triune Being and reveals the divine Persons, in many various images and expressions. They
express the intense reality of God. Jean Danielou's book, Prayer ,
listed in the sources under The Discovery of God, describes God's
existence, reality and images so intensely that we find it almost
too beautiful to bear. Our flesh is not able to cope with it. It devours
us. We are not able to handle it because it terrifies us. We do not
need pictures in our imagination to stagger us. God imprints
omnipotence in our souls through his grace and not only through our
senses. Wherever there is reality, there are traces of
All flesh and creatures reflect God to some degree.
God's traces and images superabound in all creation whether we are
conscious of it or not. God inspired Job to marvel: "these are but
the outlines of his ways and how faint is the word we hear but who
could endure the thunder of his power?" Thus, we may already find
the beauty of the world unbearable at times. How much more
unbearable it would be if the very Creator of this beauty were to
manifest the Infinite. The presence and beauty of God disconcert and
disorient us so much that it arouses in us holy fear.
impressionist painters such as Vincent Van Gogh, Claude Monet,
Edouard Manet or Paul Cezanne can stir in us such magnificent
feelings and emotions when we gaze upon their human paintings, how
much more can their Creator imprint, impart and impress his beauty in our soul and
senses when God touches us with almighty touches?
tells us that eye has not seen nor ear heard the things that God has
prepared for those who love him. It appears that it is love, which
stirs us to see God's beauty and perfect image. The more we
understand or Ďseeí Godís ways in creation and in us, the more we
understand or Ďseeí Godís beauty. If a picture is worth a thousand
words, what is that telling us other than beauty is blissful,
incomparable and inexplicable. And if that truth is obvious of
earthly realities how much more must it be of eternal truths. If
gorgeous paintings can move us to ecstasy how much more can God
touch us? God doesn't use a brush to effect his touch. Godís use his
very self in His Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity that he bestows
through the church's sacraments, sacramentals, signs and wonders.
We are the images of God.
We are marred but through Christ we have been retouched to become
marvelous and beautiful again. Jesusí disfigurement during his
passion and death has restored our stateliness and innocent when we live justly and practice virtue. In the beginning and
through the first book of Genesis, God states that we are made in
the image and likeness of God. The Image Doctor, St John, reminds us
that our life is sacred. Jesus has sanctified us and restored our
beauty to a higher state more exalted than before our fall. The
church's prayer and ours too is a daily reminder: "Oh, God, who in a
wonderful manner has created and endowed human nature but more
wonderfully has renewed it..." Every catholic mass reminds of this extraordinary re-creation as she says through the priest:
"By the mystery of this water and wine may we come to share in the divinity of Christ,
who humbled himself to share in our humanity."
Our saint is most fittingly called the Icon Doctor. An icon is a sacred image created to awaken
peopleís faith. Thatís exactly how God has used St John Damascene:
to awaken our faith. Faith awaken is delight, joy and ecstasy. Godís
love can arouse in us intense exaltation of mind and feelings. Is it
any wonder that holy people have experienced rapture and transport?
If they do not, it would be unusual considering that God draws us
out of ourselves through overmastering movements and emotions. Let
us petition John that the same spirit that touched him to safeguard
icons may direct us to watch over those people and things which God
allows us to encounter daily. Let us be reminded that what Mary did
for John through his healing, she can do for us if we recourse to
her in holy prayer and trust.
Let us be reminded that Godís beauty is so vibrant and powerful that
it overwhelms and overpowers us. Generally, we are not equipped to
handle this beauty except through Godís graces and long practice.
Practice makes perfect with patience and perseverance.
John, the image and icon doctor of the world and the church, would
want all to explore one of the most holy and adorable images and
icons that anyone will ever see. The church treasures, honors and
values immensely the Shroud of Turin as an
icon and holy relic among thousands of other sacred pictures and icons. The link is below. Click on the top icon marked SCIENTIFIC ROUTE
Face of Jesus Christ
Regardless of our belief, all creatures are made in the image of God because
God is everyoneís Maker. Jesus, too, is the Image of the invisible
God who empowers us to reveal God as he did. Despite our human
weaknesses, scars and reckless failures and sins, God pursues us gently and
vehemently. As a generous Lover who wants to show his humanity to
us, Christís Body and Image are displayed on pieces of wood, metal
and ceramic in thousands of art representations. As a gentle
reminder, the church too displays those sacred images, icons and
crosses in appropriate places. Christians everywhere, knowingly or
unknowing, wear his signs of our redemption. The eternal Lover's
body hangs around our necks as pendants and decorations to alert
everyone that God is as close to us as the crosses and crucifixes
that press against our bodies.
Our Lord told Sister Pierina, a nun that fostered the Holy Face devotion that: "Whoever gazes upon my face
already consoles Me." From the Shroud of Turin is considered an esteemed and sacred relic and can be viewed
in the link below.
THE HOLY FACE OF JESUS
We are appreciative of John's contributions. We can
also be appreciative to Dostoevski and his comments on beauty. He
knew that all beauty belonged to God.
Helen Keller, who was blind
and deaf, told us that the most beautiful thing in the world is
neither what our eyes behold nor what we touch. It is rather what
touches our heart and moves our heart and mind.
storyteller and artist in all of us discover this beauty and truth.
The Romantic poets described beauty as truth and truth as beauty.
Poets like Father Gerard Manley Hopkins intoxicate us with his
of Heaven by Francis Thompson inebriates us. The beauty, simplicity
and radical poetry of Emily Dickinson can be found in her
disjointive yet entirely unitive lines. Whoever is your favorite
Ďartistí that Ďturns you oní reveals something of the beauty and
holiness of God. Each of us, with John, is a unique writer, poet or
lover in our particular manner.
Beauty and truth abound not
only in poetry, images, nature and light. All creation sings and
shouts of Godís glory to those who have faith. Again, it is faith
that is a revealer, an enlightner and an imperishable light on
earth. Our surrender to the mystery of God in faith, infinitely
pleases God, plunges us in patiences and prepares us for divine
touches. We can indirectly obtain this faith from our seeing,
feeling, smelling, touching or hearing. However, our senses stop at
the Ďdoorí of the eternal Lover. Faith alone is direct and unitive.
Senses can not penetrate or bridge the gap into the
Infinite. The only way to embrace the Divine is to allow the Divine
to embrace us in our spirit. God is pure Spirit. The only and
immediate manner to bridge the gap is faith. The gap can be three
inches or three miles. It can be three thoughts or three feelings.
It doesnít matter. It is impossible to please God without faith. The
exercise of this faith wears down and breaks the separation between
God and us. Some people call it a ĎGod-gapí. This gap challenges and
tests us to give up the natural for the supernatural. It requires
goodwill, cooperation and dependency on something other than what we
possess. We canít possess God if we donít pass through the God-gap.
There is an infinite distance between God and us because we are
finite and God is infinite. It is very simple.
faith bridges the gap from the finite to the infinite. Interestingly
enough, faith can be apart from any religion. Therefore all
creatures are Godís domains. As every computer that is registered
must have a domain name, every creature that is born is registered, marked
and sealed with the divine touch. That touch is the divine Image in our soul.
Faith is also the vital part of any religion or we could almost say that religion is a part of faith for it is the very substance of life. See the Doctor of the Church, St Cyril of Jerusalem, who is the Doctor of Faith, to ponder the lifestreams of faith in the link below.
St. Cyril of Jerusalem 3/18
As swimming is best learned not by books but by plunging in,
we too can eliminate, reduce or forget the God-gap by plunging into
the Divine Sea. Go ahead and venture out. It takes courage and itís
a tremendous challenge but we have precedents that it can be
achieved. The gospel tells us the story and example of our first
Pope, St Peter, leaving his boat and trying to walk on water.
Everything was going fine until fear crept into his consciousness.
It is ok to sink Ďinto the waterí when we exercise our faith. Christ
held up Peter. He will do the same for you too. The main thing is to
go out to meet God in faith without fear following the example of
Peter, St John Damascene and the saints.
God is relentlessly
pursuing creatures with unabated and unbounded designs to ravish
them. And how does the Almighty want to enamour us? Nothing else but
with all of the attributes of God. Beauty and truth are only an
infinitesimal part of the divine attributes. There are centillions
more. However, the distribution of these exquisite gifts and favors
must be according to the divine plan and not our human plan.
We please God tremendously with faith and virtue for it
reflects God. Faith is a precious gift and we should strive for it,
cry for it and constantly beg for it. We can not earn it. But we
should seek it and also be very thankful, grateful and appreciative
for the degree that we have. We can lose faith, hide it, be ashamed
of it and not use it. God wants us to practice our faith daily and
be proud of it-whatever type we have.
Faith is a form of
belief and we can not learn or know of God (Love) intimately unless we believe. Only with the
continual practice of faith, hope and charity can we flourish and
please God in the manner that human nature was originally
There is always a hunger and a thirst for God in
our souls for we are made in the image and likeness of God. It is a
built-in-yearning that we can not see but our soul senses it
profoundly and faith awakens it. When we seek our Creator, the
Creator returns the favor immensely and we gain a
"natural-supernatural" awareness because grace becomes, as it were,
second nature, if that is possible. We may not discern it clearly or
be aware of it keenly. This turning to God is grace that human
beings are never without according to the justice of God. The more
we respond to God the more God responds to us with love and tender
St John Damascene defended, guarded and empowers us,
even today, through his holy intercession, to appreciate the image
of God not only in holy icons but in God's holy image in our soul.
His godly example and devotion to God and his holy Mother, that his
surrender, trust, and confidence inspired, empowers us to pray with
greater devotion and faith.
Father Luigi Gambero's, S.M., book listed in
the sources informs us "that the three homilies on the Dormition
reveal the exceptional importance of Damascene's teaching for the
development of doctrine on the Assumption. John explicitly teaches
the truth of Mary's bodily Assumption into heaven." For that reason
John is also called the Doctor of the Assumption.
Another title awared to John was "Doctor of
Christian Art" due to his defense and arguments for the reasons to have images that represented holy things of
God as when God commanded the making of the Ark of the Covenant and the cherubim above the Ark. Many times St. John
insisted that we pay an altogether particular honor to God alone, called latreia.
Gambero goes on to tell us, "with regard to Marian devotion, a very
practical part of Christian life, it is particularly interesting to
revisit the thought of St John Damascene. He introduces the fine
distinction between the cult of adoration, or latria, owed to God
alone, and the honor or veneration that ought to be given to the
holy Virgin. Later on the term dulia was introduced for this, but it
was unknown to our doctor." His book on Mary and the Fathers of the Church (The Blessed Virgin Mary in
Patristic thought) covers sixteen of the church's doctors and is most
exciting and scholarly but easy to read.
Rengers writes marvelously about John in his fascinating doctor's book: 33 Doctors of the Church and is
listed in the sources. He states about John: "But the point that seems most striking and
endearing about St John Damascene is his constant gratitude for
being able to serve God and sing the praises of his Lady, the
Theotokos or 'God-bearer'. Perhaps he expressed this best when he
said: We know that in celebrating her praises we pay off our debt,
and that in so doing, we are again debtors, so that the debt is ever
In the gospel on the feast of St
John, the church reminds us of Jesus' words about seeing, hearing
and revealing and how God imparts these precious gifts to all
including mere children. No explanation or comments can enhance
our Lord's words. However, because Jesus speaks so profoundly, so
succintly and so Spirit filled, it is impossible to capture the
power, beauty and truth of his glorious words.
Paul Fohlin, OCD, an iconophile for over thirty years, has given many retreats on the spiritual meaning of icons and authored
"Standing in the Light: Meditation and the Icon" ( Spiritual Life, Quarterly, Summer 1993-found in Resources). He is presently, 11/02, the Superior of the Discalced Carmelites Friars at Holy Hill, Wisconsin. Father recently wrote a review on : "The Mystical Language of Icons" written by Solrunn Nes. Alba House (St Paul's Publishing)
He tells us that: "Nes consistently points out that spiritual beauty and truth are one in the icon." Paul continues quoting the author:"Orthodox iconography has a form which inspires serenity and a content which invites meditation". Again: "The icon is a holy object, the form being merely a receptacle for the content. The content is determined by the Holy Scriptures and the Traditions of the Church. That is why the painting of the icons is marked more by discipline than by inspiration.(p12)"
Father Paul quotes Nes again: "The icon is never complete in itself. It can never stand alone as an autonomous work of art, but refers to a spiritual dimension and forms part of a concrete, religious practice". It is a full Christian expression of the mystery of the Incarnation. The Carmelite informs us that more remarkable than Nes' description of technique are her ideas about icons. Her thoughts on iconography flow gently with much beauty and didactic purpose. In conclusion Paul says that Nes' "Mystical Language of Icons" is an easy course in visual spirituality.
The below links relate to John and his wise and
St John Damascene, Father and Doctor, Exposition of the Faith:
to St John Damascene we have many approved medals, images and icons
of the Catholic Church. They merit close attention and devotion. The
Miraculous Medal and the appearances of Mary to St Catherine can be
explored by this link: http://www.virginoftheglobe.com/
Lady is constantly urging us to have close union with God through
approved sacramentals and the holy sacraments.
powerful presence and sign of the cross as image:
John encourages us to honor, respect and love images of Mary, his
singular fascination with God. The below link is another example of
an image of the Miraculous Medal and one of their many websites.
This is based upon an approved apparition and a noble saint St
most perfect, indisputable and authentic Icon of Mary in the world
is the picture she gave to Blessed Juan Diego of herself and remains
to this very day in her Shrine in Mexico City.
Other icons and images.
the perfect gift for the people you respect and love. Please take a
look and click the link to visit beautiful icons:
Unique hand made products from the Holy Land and other religious items that include: crosses, crucifixes, crown-of-thorns, rosaries and others sacred objects from where our Lord worked out our redemption and salvation.
the unique skills used in Icons by clicking below:
There is a joyful and merry image-mirage during the
Christmas Season about Santa Claus. I call it an image-mirage not
because it is make-believe but because there is a real Santa Claus
but much of it is based upon legend and that's not too bad. Legend
can be believed if it is credible enough. The church has enough
authentic documentation to substantiate how Santa Claus came to exit
based upon a famous saint named St Nicholas of Bari. Thus, the
make-believe of Santa Claus can be really seen as making or helping
one believe in the spirit of Christmas.
Additional information on St Nicholas can be found
St John Damascene taken from the website of the ministry of Dr Marcellino D'Ambrosio
The below web site contains comprehensive resources on our church, faith, the bible, saints, writings, apologetics, evangelization, family issues, links, and many pertinent services. This superior and highly organized web site (see Table of Content) is a most fascinating site with beautiful prayers, devotions, and really too much to enumerate. A truly universal catholic site.