Thursday, December 6, 2012

St. Nicholas Uncures Three Hams

Today is the feast of St. Nicholas of Myra, patron of sailors and pawnbrokers, whose three golden balls are a reference to the saint's providing dowries for poor girls. 

The image to the right is from the reredos of the high altar of Sint-Niklaaskirk in Ghent. The boys in the tub at good St. Nick's feet refer to the story of St. Nicholas bringing three little boys back from the dead after an evil butcher had killed them and put them in a curing barrel to sell them for ham.

The Brothers Grimm have nothing on the lives of the saints.