|St. Nicholas slaps the heretic Arius.|
Both Nicholas and Ambrose were bishops and strong proponents of the orthodox position in these matters. Nicholas was bishop of Myra, a small city in present-day Turkey. He attended the Council of Nicaea in 325 and was so passionate in his view that Arius was leading the faithful astray that he took matters into his own hands. According to an ancient legend, during one of the council sessions, as Arius presented his views before the assembled bishops and the emperor, Nicholas stood up, crossed the room, and slapped Arius across the face! Wow.
As for the Immaculate Conception of Mary, we Catholics believe that the Blessed Mother was preserved free from original sin from the first moment of her conception by a singular grace from God. This was because she was chosen by God, from the beginning, to be the Mother of our Savior Jesus who is God Incarnate.
So, as this week continues on, be aware of the fact that the feasts of the Advent season continue to call our attention to coming Christ, who took on flesh to lead us to salvation. He is coming. Are you ready?