Thursday, December 6, 2007

St. Nicholas

( c. 350)

One of the more well-known saints, although not much is really known about his life, except the legends that surround him. It is known that he was born in Asia Minor of wealthy parents, and was named bishop of Myra. He was imprisoned for his faith, and was present at the Council of Nicaea, and he died at Myra.

Some of the legends that surround him include one story of three young girls whose family was poverty stricken. Their father could not afford dowries for them, and had decided to sell them as prostitutes. Nicholas threw bags of gold into their home through the window on three different occasions, and the girls were thus saved and were married. Another version of this story is that the three bags of gold and the three girls became the heads of three murdered children who were restored to life by Saint Nicholas. Yet another story tells of him saving doomed mariners off the coast of Lycia. The name St. Nicholas was morphed into Sint Klaes and then Santa Claus by the Dutch, however the figure of Santa Claus is based on the Germanic god Thor, who was associated with winter and the Yule log, and rode on a chariot drawn by goats named Cracker and Gnasher.

Photo Credit: Catholic Culture
All information from the Pocket Dictionary of Saints

For ideas on how to celebrate this feast day, visit Catholic Culture.

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