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.

Bibliography

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

References in periodicals archive ?
The addition makes Nikolaus & Hohenadel a firm of 27 attorneys and 38 staff members with offices in Lancaster, Columbia, Elizabethtown, Strasburg and now Quarryville.
The Buildings of England: Warwickshire, by Chris Pickford and Nikolaus Pevsner is published by Yale University Press at PS35.
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Shepard expressed criticism towards the boards of DGI and Donegal Mutual, calling also for Nikolaus to step down.
Over the course of 23 years (1961-74) Sir Nikolaus published architectural studies of every significant building in every English country.
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The agreement was signed by Nikolaus Frei, t'azur's chief executive officer and Cornel Fourie, chief human resources officer at GIB's headquarters.
Executive board member Nikolaus Sauer was appointed in 2008 also for five years.
Architect Nikolaus Pevsner updates traditional FEMA trailer with environmentally sustainable features [Architect's Newspaper]
Turkish Agriculture & Rural Affairs Minister Mehmet Mehdi Eker, who is currently in the Austrian capital on a formal visit, met Agriculture, Forestry, Environment, & Water Management Minister of Austria, Nikolaus Berlakovich.
Miklos the Magnificent, otherwise known as Nikolaus Josef of the