Fourth Century

Feast Date: December 6

From the ninth century in the East and the 11th century in the West, Nicholas has been one of the most popular saints in Christendom and art, and the patron of many countries, dioceses, churches and cities. He was bishop of Myra in Lycia (now Turkey). According to folklore, he saved three girls from prostitution, restored to life three murdered children hidden in a brine-tub or saved from death three unjustly condemned men. There is no evidence that he attended the Council of Nicaea in 325 or suffered persecution for his faith. “Santa Claus” comes from the Dutch form of his name: “Sinte Klaas.”

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