Saint Nicholas

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Nicholas, Saint,

patron of children and sailors, of Greece, Sicily, and Russia, and of many other places and persons. Little is known of him, but he is traditionally identified as a 4th-century bishop of Myra in Asia Minor. His relics were stolen from Myra in the Middle Ages and taken to Bari, Italy. St. Nicholas is the subject of many legends. He is credited with restoring to life three boys who had been chopped up and pickled in salt by a butcher. Another famous story concerns his giving three bags of gold to the daughters of a poor man and thus saving them from lives of prostitution. Later tradition transformed the bags into three gold balls, which became the symbol of pawnbrokers. In the Netherlands and elsewhere St. Nicholas's feast (Dec. 6) is a children's holiday, appropriate for gifts. The English in colonial New York adopted from the Dutch the now unrecognizable saint, calling him Santa Claus (a contraction of the Dutch Sint Nikolaas). They moved his feast day to the English gift holiday, Christmas. The career and qualities attributed to Santa Claus are all recently acquired.


See biography by C. W. Jones (1978, repr. 1988).

References in periodicals archive ?
2: Saint Nicholas was a jolly man 
in a red coat.
Historically (270-343), Saint Nicholas was the bishop of Myra (a town in present-day Turkey).
Saint Nicholas is the patron saint of sailors, merchants, archers, repentant thieves, children, pawnbrokers and students.
Saint Nicholas was the bishop of Mira in Spain, who was known for his great generosity, especially toward children.
According to the story, one day Saint Nicholas overheard some poor girls speaking to their father.
Also, on this day, children write letters to Saint Nicholas with their list of presents.
STOCKING FILLER The original Saint Nicholas left his first gifts of gold coins in the stockings, left drying by the fire, of three poor girls who needed money for their wedding dowries.
Then, three years ago, Laboratoire d'Art launched its "Cabriolet Film Festival," on Gemmayzeh's Saint Nicholas stairs.
ANTALYA, Apr 25, 2011 (TUR) -- An Easter ritual was held at the Saint Nicholas Museum in southern province of Antalya on Sunday.
Saint Nick's legend was made famous in an 1823 poem, Visit From Saint Nicholas, by American poet Clement Clarke Moore In his poem, Moore showed Santa to be "a jolly old elf", who flies around in a miniature sleigh with eight tiny reindeer He included such details as the names of the reindeer; Santa Claus's laugh, etc.
I have also suggested that Saint Nicholas of Myra may well have existed and was in fact a godly bishop.
The Saint Nicholas Orthodox Church project involved a transformation of an existing metal shop building into a sanctuary and fellowship hall .