Nicholas Youth Bishops

Selecting Nicholas or Youth Bishops was once a popular tradition throughout Western Europe — especially in England, Germany, France, and Spain.  Reaching its height in the 16th century, the practice continued in  some places until the 19th.  The motive is partly to impart religious values, but is a lesson in humility and recognition of the wisdom of youthful innocence.  It is a way of understanding the upside down nature of Advent as expressed in the words of the Magnificat, “He has brought down the powerful from their thrones, and lifted up the lowly.”  The Youth Bishop is typically installed on St. Nicholas Day, December 6th, and serves thru Holy Innocents Day, December 28th.