A large number of legends are related to Christmas which mostly comprise of stories of some great saints and their deeds. There folklores are not only a source of entertainment for the children but also teach us some basic values of life such as love, peace and charity. Many saints and disciples of Lord Jesus are known till today for their service to the mankind. The stories of their lives and their conduct shaped the lives of several during their time and continue to inspire us till today. Many of these legends have faded in time and lost their worth, but still there are some which we come across quite often. Tales that have been immortalized, for their impact on the lives of people, have been passed on to generations. All these stories are light-natured, with a simple theme and are easy to conceive. Therefore, these are chosen to be narrated to children who get to learn about the morals of life in an amusing manner. Though simple, these legends have a significant message to enunciate. Go through the legend of the three purses in the article below to know what this story has in store for you.
Legend Of The Three Purses
In the small town of Myra lived a noble but destitute man, who had lost all his wealth owing to unfortunate circumstances. He could not even afford food and clothing for his family which comprised of his three beautiful daughters, who were as noble as their father. His daughters had become eligible for marriage, but the nobleman could not get them married for the obvious reason of poverty; he was neither capable of arranging for their marriages nor for their dowries. He was reluctant to ask others for help as well. Harsh times threatened to force these girls to enter the grimy profession of prostitution. Saint Nicholas, who was then the bishop of Myra, got to know about the plight of this family and overwhelmed, he decided to rescue them. However, he did not want to approach the nobleman and offer him help, as he knew that such an approach would be politely turned down. So, he made up his mind to do it inconspicuously and visited the house.
The first night he visited the house, St. Nicholas threw a purse filled with gold on the eldest daughter's bed. The next morning when she found it, the family was overjoyed and bought some food and clothes for themselves. The eldest daughter could also be married off. The second time, St. Nicholas threw another purse of gold discreetly, on the bed of the second daughter. She was also married off. The nobleman had grown suspicious and wanted to track down their secret patron. So, he hid beneath window, the third time and waited. When St. Nicholas came to throw the third purse of gold, the nobleman leaped and grasped his cloak, thanking him for his kindness. However, St. Nicholas requested the nobleman not to reveal his deed to anyone. He told him it was his duty to help the needy and then disappeared.
Variations In The Story
Another legend often comes in picture, in which the story is almost the same but mentions stockings instead of silken purses. This is the legend of the Christmas stockings. According to this legend, St. Nicholas passed purses of gold through the kitchen chimney which landed in the stockings of the daughters. The stockings were kept under the chimney for drying.
Many Christmas legends are based on the deeds of St. Nicholas, who eventually came to be known as the modern-day Santa Claus. St. Nicholas was a generous person, known for his charity and benevolence. It is said that he used to secretly deliver gifts to children to make them happy. As the time passed by, his tales started to become famous and he acquired the name Santa Claus. Today, Santa Claus is a famous figure all over the world. Christmas is not complete for children without Santa surprising them with gifts. Usually, the man enacting Santa is dressed in a red suit with white collar and cuffs, black belt and boots. His face is covered with a huge white moustache and flowing white beard. He also carries a big bag of toys and announces his arrival by ringing a sleigh bell. Santa is children's favorite Christmas character and hence, nowadays, many volunteers play the role of Santa to amuse and entertain children. Party organizers also have people deployed to play Santa in Christmas parties. Many malls, big shops and even streets are found to have several people dressed like Santa, greeting children.
Today, even after centuries, tales of Christmas have found their way to children's books. For small children, these stories are a way of understanding the importance of Christmas. Tales of this sort encourage good deeds and discourage bad activities. Apart from all these, one must know that the customs that we follow during Christmas have their origins in these stories.
Many tales are associated with Christmas, the legend of the three purses being one on them. Read on to know about the legend.