CHERRYFIELD — Children of all ages, parents, and guardians will gather at St. Michael the Archangel Church, located on 51 Elm Street in Cherryfield, on Saturday, Dec. 11 to not only learn about the Corporal Works of Mercy, but put kindness into practice as well.

The St. Nicholas Corporal Works of Mercy gathering will begin at 11:30 a.m. (following 10:30 a.m. Mass) at the church. Children will paint Christmas ornaments that will be delivered to nursing home residents. Food and refreshments will be served, and all are welcome. During the morning, participants will also learn about the Corporal Works of Mercy (Feed the hungry, Give drink to the thirsty, Shelter the homeless and welcome immigrants and refugees, Clothe the naked, Visit the sick,  Visit prisoners, and Bury the dead).

The event received its name from the Feast Day of St. Nicholas, which is on Dec. 6. Born to wealthy parents, Nicholas ultimately distributed his inheritance through many acts of charity. Most people are probably familiar with the story of the poor father with the three daughters. Unable to provide dowries for them, he planned to send them into the street as prostitutes. Nicholas, in the secrecy of night, threw a bag of gold through the man’s window, enough to provide a dowry for the eldest daughter. He did the same for the second girl. But when he went to the house for a third time, the windows were locked. So, Nicholas climbed to the roof and dropped the bag of gold down the chimney where it fell into a stocking drying on the hearth. And that, it is said, is how the tradition of Christmas stockings began, although in many countries, St. Nicholas puts goodies in shoes rather than stockings. For this reason, St. Nicholas is the patron of children and of maidens. Whether he makes his appearance as a bishop on a white horse or a jolly old man in red, St. Nicholas is probably one of the most universally known symbols of the Christmas season throughout the world.

For more information about the St. Nicholas Corporal Works of Mercy event, contact St. Peter the Fisherman Parish, of which St. Michael the Archangel Church is a part, at 207-255-3731.