Blessed Nicolas Steno

1638 AD (Copenhagen, Denmark) – 1686 AD (Schwerin, Germany)

Do you know how saliva is made, how fossils get trapped in rocks and why crystals have their shiny faces at the angles they do? Before Blessed Nicolas no one knew either, but his brilliant work as a scientist lead to answers to these and other scientific puzzles.

You can imagine how much everyone admired him for being so smart and how he could have become a rich and powerful man, can’t you? But Nicolas was fascinated not only by nature, but also by Jesus and after many years as a professor, teaching at various universities, he became a priest. Do you know how long it took him to learn how to be a priest? Only four months, while it normally takes many years – he was so smart and so keen to follow Jesus! And his success in the church does not stop there – after only five years he became a bishop and powerful kings and scientists continued to ask him for his advice.

What do you think Nicolas was like, with all this success? Do you think he wore expensive clothes and lived like a rich man? No! Nicolas knew how important it was to focus on Jesus alone and not to get distracted by things like money and riches. He wore an old cloak and looked like a poor man, eating very little. But, why did he do that? To help the poor in his city, like Jesus told all of us. Blessed Nicolas even sold his golden bishop’s ring and cross so that he could help those who didn’t have enough to eat or look after themselves. He knew that the true treasure is not gold that can rust, but all the good things we can do for the people around us. Will you try to do the same?

“Beautiful are the things we see; more beautiful are the things we know; but most beautiful of all are the things we have no knowledge of yet.”

Niels Stensen

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