We’ve talked before about the powerful masculinity of Santa Claus. We wanted to call back to some of those stories for our Testicular Fortitude Series.
We know Santa Claus as a chubby white-haired man that wears red clothing and gives gifts to children, but much of that modern image was created by 19th century poets and the Coca Cola Company. The truth is he was a man with balls.
Testicular Fortitude is Brought to You by: Haines Knives
This Episode is Brought To you by HAINES KNIVES Find your new favorite knife at http://HainesKnives.com/mancast or follow on social media @birdforge Testicular Fortitude means having deep seated masculine courage and strength. Balls. Guts. Manlihood. Testicular Fortitude on the Manlihood ManCast is where we take a look at men who have beat the odds, men whose courage has left a lasting legacy. Testicular Fortitude Do you have testicular fortitude? Do you want to embrace your life of courage? Join our elite group of powerhouse men who are changing the world. http://Manlihood.com/brotherhood
St Nicholas: Patron Saint of Everything
Many different groups have adopted St. Nicholas as the patron saint of their causes… children, sailors, the falsely accused, merchants, archers, brewers, Russia, broadcasters, and students.
And the reasons behind that is usually because of a story from his life.
He was born in 270 AD in Turkey among the greeks that lived there. His parents were wealthy, and they died in a plague when he was young. He was raised as a Christian by his uncle Nicholas, and became a priest.
At that time, Christians would often make a dangerous pilgrimage to Jerusalem to visit the Holy City where Jesus lived and died. In 312 AD, he started his journey. During that time, he briefly settled in a cave with a group of monks. As bandits and thieves started attacking the surrounding settlement of mostly pilgrims, Nicholas took the women and children into his cave to protect them against the raiders.
When he returned to Turkey, he was named as the Bishop in the town of Myra. Christianity was widespread, but it was still under assault from the Roman empire. You remember the tales of the Christians in the arenas being eaten by lions – much of that happened under the persecution of the Roman Emperor Diocletian. The emperor’s disdain for Christians is what got Nicholas tossed in prison.
He was kept in solitary and suffered many beatings for refusing to recant his belief in Jesus.
In 2005, Saint Nicholas’s body was exhumed and forensically analyzed. There was ample evidence of broken bones, and a broken nose. This lends scientific credence to that story.
When Constantine converted to Christianity and established it as the official religion of the Roman Empire in 320 AD, they let Nicholas out of jail, and he attended the Council of Nicea in 325. Essentially, the church confirmed the doctrines of the early church at that time, and Nicholas would have had a lot of input on the matter.
It was then that Arius presented his heretical view of Jesus, not as God, but as only a mortal man. Arius was leading people astray from the truths that the church accepted, and condeming the teachings that Christians worldwide had been giving their lives for.
Nick was having none of it – and in front of everyone, walked up and slapped him across the face like he was Chris Rock at the Oscars.
The other bishops were pissed. They took his bishop robes, took his book of scriptures and threw Nick in jail.
But in the morning, when the jailer came to check on him, his shackles had been loosened, and he was fully dressed in his bishop robes and had his book. No one could explain how, and so it has been credited as a miracle.
There were many other miraculous and almost unbelievable stories that have been recorded about Saint Nicholas.
One legend show Nicholas not only catching a serial killer, but bringing the victims back to life! Three children were captured by a butcher, who chopped up their bodies and put them in a pickling brine, where they stayed for years. When Nicholas came to town, he was prompted with knowledge from God to demand that the butcher open up the barrel, exposing his crime.
Then Nicholas commanded that the dead children come back to life.
Another time, while sailing, the ship came under assault by violent storms. The crew and passengers were despairing and preparing to die. Nicholas said, “All you have to do is call out to God to save you.” and then as they prayed, he commanded the storm to cease, and it did.
Whether these miraculous stories are true, I can’t say, for sure, but I’m a believer in such miracles. But even if they are only legends, there’s something about the story of a man willing to speak with the kind of authority that could raise dead children and silence a stormy sea.
Our contemporary Santa is known for giving gifts in stockings to children, but this story comes from a very powerful story about St. Nick.
There was a poor man with three daughters. He could not afford a dowry in order to pay for them to be married. In those days, no husband would take a wife without a dowry. If a young girl didn’t have such a cushion, she may be sold into slavery, or forced to enter the sex trade.
St. Nicholas had compassion on the girls, and tossed some gold coins into the window, which landed in a pair of stockings hung by the fire to dry.
His courage, his commitment, his authority, and his kindness, are why Saint Nicholas is featured today for his Testicular Fortitude.