The Real St. Nicholas

 

St. Nicholas of Myra (brought to my attention by Michael G. Reed)

 

One of the memorable moments at the great Council of Nicea (in which the orthodox doctrine of the Trinity was hammered out, as expressed in the so-called Nicene Creed) came when Bishop Nicholas of Myra punched Arius of Alexandria in the jaw.  Although this was an extremely powerful argument, it evidently left Arius unconvinced.  He not only never became a saint, but went down in history as an arch-heretic.

 

For an entertaining account of the highly spiritual goings-on in such ecclesiastical conventions, see Ramsay MacMullen’s Voting about God in Early Church Councils (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2006).

 

 

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