This is a really big deal for the faithful of the Russian Orthodox Church. This week the Ribs of Saint Nicholas, one of the most revered among Russian saints, arrived in St Petersburg. They came by special flight from Italy where they have lain undisturbed for nearly a thousand years in a crypt in the city of Bari.
All of this was made possible after an historic meeting between the Patriarch of the orthodox church and the Pope, earlier this year.
After much prayerful deliberation it was decided that Saint Nick could go on a trip in the Summer (instead of his usual Winter sortie in his sleigh) and that he would be on loan for three months to the Russian Faithful.
We are talking about Father Christmas here who was, among other virtues, given to great acts of generosity. On one occasion he gave three golden coins to a poor parishioner as a dowry for his three daughters. Saint Nicholas reportedly threw the money out of his window and the coins ended up in the girls stockings which were hanging out to dry.
This story gave birth to the ritual of kids hanging up their stockings on Christmas eve for Santa to fill.
I know its a long way to December 25th, but with gold at $1,500:00 an ounce there might be a new car in my sock this year.