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Advent Calendar: Thursday of the First Week – The Boys in the Brine

“The heavens are the works of Thy hands. They shall perish, [my God,] but Thou remainest: and all of them shall grow old like a garment. And as a vesture Thou shalt change them, and they shall be changed.” – (Ps. 101: 26-27)

The Boys in the Brine – A St. Nicholas Story

Most people know about the tradition of St. Nicholas bringing gifts to the people of his village, but have you ever heard the story of “The Boys in the Brine?”

Once upon a time…there was an evil butcher who hated children. Three young boys who came in from a long day of playing in the fields asked the butcher for food and shelter. The butcher invited them inside and cruelly murdered them by chopping them into pieces and throwing them into a pickling barrel of brine…where they remained for 7 long years.

St. Nicholas, upon passing through the town came into the butcher’s cottage and asked for a meal. After offering the esteemed bishop certain of his choicest cuts of meat, St. Nicholas responded that he wanted what was inside the barrel which had been pickling for 7 years. The butcher, realizing that St. Nicholas knew his crime, attempted to flee away but St. Nicholas convinced him to stay and repent of his sin.

St. Nicholas, upon placing three fingers on the barrel and praying to God, the three boys rose out of the brine unharmed and were returned to their families.

Good bishop St. Nicholas, pray for the youth!

– by Jane Carver

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