The Greatest Commandment

Updated: Jan 8, 2021

“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.” ~Mark 12:30-31

Why in the world would anyone name a church after Santa Claus? if that thought crossed your mind as you stumbled across our Church website, congratulations, that’s a great question. However, the jolly, gift giver we commonly know as Santa Claus, which originated in the 19th century, bears very little resemblance to the Saint Nicholas of the 3rd century. Yes, the legend of can be traced back hundreds of years to a Saint, named Nicholas. It is believed that Nicholas was born sometime around 280 A.D. in Patara, near Myra in modern-day Turkey. Much admired for his piety and kindness, St. Nicholas became the subject of many legends. It is said that he gave away all of his inherited wealth and traveled the countryside helping the poor and sick. One of the best-known St. Nicholas stories is the time he saved three poor sisters from being sold into slavery or prostitution by their father by providing them with a dowry so that they could be married.

What the popular cultural stories leave out may be even more epic in the telling. You see, Nicholas was also a profound lover of Christ, Jesus, and a staunch defender of the Orthodox faith. This venerable bishop was actually one of the participants at the First Council of the whole Church at Nicaea, where set about defining the very nature of our lord Jesus, as encompassing both fully human and fully divine natures.

So, we as a particular Catholic Church have actually chosen Saint Nicholas as our patron for the two reasons outlined in Mark 12: 30-31. That is because Saint Nicholas, in our opinion, exemplifies the admonition of a person who loved both God and his neighbors to the fullest.

The very nature and heart of God is eternal LOVE and this sublime attribute permeates all His other superlative qualities. This greatest of all commands to LOVE the Lord our God, embraces and intertwines with every other facet of His beautiful, eternal character.