St. Nicholas and the Three Slain Boys
Чудо Святого Николая о воскрешении трех отроков, разрубленных на куски и засоленных в бочке трактирщиком
○ ○ ○
Святой Николай также считается покровителем детей. Этой теме посвящён «Рассказ о трёх засоленных мальчиках», который является весьма необычным.
Saint Nicholas with the Three Boys in the Pickling Tub
○ ○ ○
Согласно старой французской песне, три маленьких мальчика постучали в дверь мясника и попросились переночевать. Мясник впустил детей в дом, затем зарубил их топором и бросил тела в бочку с рассолом. Судя по всему, он не любил детей и, видимо, не смог придумать более гуманный способ от них избавиться. А может и на "ветчину".
Семь лет спустя в дом мясника постучался Святой Николай, чтобы попросить немного еды. Он спросил о бочке с детскими телами, которую палач так и не удосужился вынести из своего дома.
Мясник занервничал. Тогда Святой Николай сказал ему: «Покайся, и Бог простит тебя». Затем он поднял свою руку вверх, и маленькие дети спустились с Небес целыми и невредимыми.
○ ○ ○
St. Nicholas and the Schoolboys
A butcher desperate for meat to sell lured three boys into his shop and killed them. He then chopped them up and put them in a pickling barrel, intending to sell parts of their bodies as ‘hams’ or other meat. St Nicholas, learning of the crime through a vision, restored the three boys to life by blessing the barrel. Because of this he is sometimes depicted with next to a barrel or tub from which spring three boys
St. Nicholas is traditionally considered the patron saint of children, particularly boys.
The association is traced to the legend of St. Nicholas and the Three Pickled Boys. Tradition has it that an evil shopkeeper in the town of Myra hated children. He kidnapped three small boys, chopped them up with an axe, and pickled them in a barrel. St. Nicholas, upon hearing of this horror, prayed fervently to God. Because of the purity of his faith, the boys were raised to life and wholeness again and came out of the pickle barrel singing "Alleluia!" and giving thanks to God.
The legend of St. Nicholas and the Three Pickled Boys was popularized in this century by the composer Benjamin Britten in his well-known cantata "St. Nicolas" (op. 42). The witty choral work, with poetry by Eric Crozier, tells the life of the saint in song; three choirboys sing the part of the Pickled Boys, always an audience favorite.
○ ○ ○
Three small children were gleaning in the fields. As they worked and played, they wandered off into the town. Walking about and exploring, the children forgot the time.
When it was late and the sun going down, the children were hungry, tired and lost. They came to a lighted butcher's shop, knocked and said, "We are lost and hungry. May we eat and sleep?" "Oh, yes," came the reply, "do come in."
As they enter, the butcher takes a sharp knife, cuts them up, and puts them in a large salting tub. Seven years pass.
A knock comes on the door. Bishop Saint Nicholas appears, saying to the evil butcher, "Open your large salting tub!" The saint puts his hand on the tub and, appealing to God, says, "Rise up, children." The little children awake and stand up. Their families joyfully welcome them home.
○ ○ ○
Ever since St. Nicholas has been the patron and protector of children.
○ ○ ○
NOTE: The older, original version of this story is about three students traveling away to school. They stopped in an inn and were drugged, robbed, and murdered. Over the years, especially in France and Western Europe, these grown male students came to be seen as little children. Sometimes it is an evil innkeeper, other times an evil butcher that does them in. In France the evil butcher became St. Nicholas servant and has followed him ever since. This is the most popular story in France, set to a well-known and beloved song. The image of Saint Nicholas with children in a tub at his feet is the most widespread image of the saint in Western Europe.
○ ○ ○
a Légende du Grand Saint Nicolas, published by the Société de S. Augustin, Desclee, De Brouwer & Cie., Paris-Lille-Bruges, ca. early 1800s.
Freely translated from the French.