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Saint Nicholas
Saint Nicholas

Saint Nicholas

Feast Day
Dec 06, 2012
Children, Sailors, Fishermen, Merchants, Broadcasters, Falsely Accused, Repentant Thieves
<p><strong> Patronage</strong> &ndash; Children, Sailors, Fishermen, Merchants, Broadcasters, Falsely Accused, Repentant Thieves, Pharmacists, Archers, Pawn Brokers</p> <p>St. Nicholas was born a Greek in Asia Minor, in the city of Patara, a port city on the Mediterranean Sea.&nbsp; He lived in Myra, Lycia &ndash; part of modern day Demre, Turkey, and at that time was a region of Greek heritage, culture, and politically part of the Roman Diocese of Asia.&nbsp; He was the only son of a wealthy Christian family.&nbsp; He was religious from an early age and according to legend, he rigorously observed the canonical fasts of Wednesdays and Fridays.&nbsp; An epidemic took his parents lives while he was young, and his uncle, also named Nicholas raised him.&nbsp; His uncle Nicholas was the Bishop of Patara.&nbsp; Bishop Nicholas tonsured the young Nicholas as a reader, and later as a Priest.&nbsp;</p> <p>Young Nicholas went on to become the Bishop of Patara in the footsteps of his uncle.&nbsp; Because of the many miracles attributed to his intercession, he is known as a wonder worker.&nbsp; He had a reputation for secret gift giving, such as putting coins in the shoes of those who left them out for him, and for this reason, became the model for Santa Claus.&nbsp; The Name Santa Claus comes from the many translations of &ldquo;St. Nikolaos&rdquo;.&nbsp; His reputation evolved among the faithful, over the period of his 73 years.&nbsp; He eventually died and little is known of his death.&nbsp; In 1087 part of his relics were translated to Bari, in southeastern Italy, and for this reason, he is also known as Nikolaos of Bari.&nbsp; His remaining bones were taken to Venice in 1100.&nbsp; His feast day is always December 6<sup>th</sup>.&nbsp;</p> <p>Either way, St. Nicholas is remembered and revered among Catholic and Orthodox Christians.&nbsp; He is also honored by various Anglican and Lutheran churches.&nbsp; During a great famine that Myra experienced in 311, a ship was in the port at anchor.&nbsp; It was loaded with wheat for the Emperor in Constantinople.&nbsp; Nicholas invited the sailors to unload a part of the wheat to help in time of need.&nbsp; The sailors at first disliked the request, because the wheat had to be weighed accurately and delivered to the Emperor.&nbsp; St. Nicholas promised them they would not suffer any loss for doing this, and they agreed.&nbsp; When they arrived later in the capital, they made a suprising find.&nbsp; The weight of the load had not changed, although the wheat removed in Myra was enough for two full years and could even be used for sowing their new crop!&nbsp; This is one of many reported miracles.&nbsp;</p> <p>There is a tradition of St. Nicholas Day, and it usually is on his feast day of December 6<sup>th</sup>.&nbsp; It is a festival for children in many European countries, and is related to the surviving legends of the saint and his being a &ldquo;bringer of gifts&rdquo;.&nbsp; In fact, the American Santa Claus is derived from St. Nicholas and his secretly giving gifts to those in need.&nbsp;</p> <h1><span style="font-size: medium;"><strong>Practical Take Away</strong></span></h1> <p>St. Nicholas was born in Greece, and lost his parents to an epidemic at a young age.&nbsp; His uncle, the Bishop of Patara, raised him.&nbsp; He was noted for being religious at a very early age and with the influence of his uncle, went on to study the faith, was ordained, and became the Bishop of Patara as well.&nbsp; He was noted for his compassion, strong spirituality and secret &ldquo;gift giving&rdquo;.&nbsp; Because of this secret gift giving, he became the mythical &ldquo;Santa Claus&rdquo;, which is derived in part from the Dutch &ldquo;Sinterklaas&rdquo; &ndash; St. Nicholas.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p>