Puncher: Nicholas of Myra
Punchee: Arius the Heretic
Why it’s Awesome: I generally do not use Real Life (tm) examples,* but Friday was the Feast of St. Nicholas, and also what’s more awesome than saints who also punch people?
Ecumenical councils are not typically known for rowdy excitement, and people canonized as saints we typically remember for their serenity and piety, but not so much for their skills at fisticuffs. And then there’s St. Nicholas. So famous for his generosity that he’s come down to us as Santa Claus, the bringer of gifts for good children, it’s easy to forget that the Jolly Fat Man was historically kind of a badass. At the council of Nicea, when another attendee, Arius, put for the proposition that Christ was a creation of God, rather than consubstantially begotten of God (a small point but an important one to those who are into that sort of thing), Nicholas was so incensed that, well, he punched Arius in his heresy-spouting face. Not only does it serve as a nice shake up of the traditional Santa Claus mythos, but it also just goes to show that, even 1600 some years ago, people understood the powerful semiotic weight of a crowning moment of face punch.
Where to find it?: St. Nicholas vs. Arius, by George Tautkus
* NOTA BENE: Crowning Moment of Face Punch does not support physical violence as a legitimate means of resolving theological debate