Urban legend or no, good ol’ Saint Nicholas certainly made the Council of Nicaea a more exciting place to be:
It happened that saint Nicholas, now an old man, was present at the Council of Nicaea, and out of jealousy of faith struck a certain Arian in the jaw, on account of which it is recorded that he was deprived of his mitre and pallium; on account of which he is often depicted without a mitre.
Gotta love a guy who will follow in the footsteps of the Christ flipped tables in the temple.
In this age that conflates Christianity and pacifism, it’s refreshing to come across examples of Christians in history who were not hesitant to stand up for their faith, including a kiss with a fist.
It also occurs to me that saints are basically memes. In the link above, the evolution of the Nicholas story reminds me a lot of the evolution of a meme, and how they tend to get to become a taller and taller of a tale over time. I always dismissed the iconography of saints out of hand, being the headstrong protestant that I am, but this deserves further thought.
Stay tuned, and Merry Christmas Eve.