St. Nicholas And The Account Of Constantine

Though we don’t have the full book, we have a chapter from the oldest known biography of Nicholas. It is called Stratelatis (Greek for Military Generals), and it was written sometime around 400 AD. This chapter recounts two stories about Nicholas. In the first, he hears that three innocent men are about to be executed. Aghast, he immediately heads to intervene. As he gets closer, passersby tell him that the beheadings are imminent, so Nicholas runs as fast as he can. As he draws near he sees the three men, kneeling with heads down as the executioner raises his glittering sword high, ready to strike. Now sprinting, Nicholas arrives just in time to wrench the sword out of the executioner’s hand and save the innocent men from an unjust death.

The second story has many parallels to the first. Once again, we learn three men have been unjustly accused and sentenced to death, this time by Emperor Constantine. One of them remembers how Nicholas saved the other three men from execution, and so he prays to Nicholas. According to the story, Nicholas appeared to Constantine in a dream and said:

Constantine, emperor, rise and free those three men whom you have remanded to prison… officers of the army, who have been condemned on hearsay. If you do not obey me, I will stir up an uncontrollable revolt against you, and hand over your carcass and your entrails to the wild beasts for food, bearing witness against you before the celestial King Christ.

Constantine heeded this startling and violent warning and freed the soldiers he had planned to execute. So much for Jolly Old Saint Nick! Read More»

Andrew Menkis | “The Real Santa Claus: Nicholas of Myra” | December 12, 2022


Heidelberg Reformation Association
1637 E. Valley Parkway #391
Escondido CA 92027
The HRA is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization

Subscribe to the Heidelblog today!