A brief essay - and neat picture - from Ethika Politika
Nicholas committed his single most notable act of charity in his youth: He provided dowries anonymously and out of his own inheritance for three young women who would otherwise have had no way to support themselves over the long term other than slavery or prostitution. By providing dowries, Nicholas made it possible for these young women to avoid the worst indignities of desperation. He had no desire to scold the young women or their father for their circumstances or for the terrible choices that they were contemplating. He gave them—without question, condition, or lecture— a way out of their desperate circumstances, and, when he was caught and confronted, he explained simply that he wanted the credit to be given to God.