There are a ton of different stories that surround St. Nicholas, who many have come to know as Santa Claus, but many don’t know how truly fierce this saint was. Read on to find out about this legendary saint.
The Bishop of Myra
St. Nicholas was born in the 3rd century, in modern day Turkey. He was raised in a devout family, and after his parents died, he used his inheritance to help the poor and suffering. Later, he was made the Bishop of Myra, but he was known as a generous man, who had a great love for children.
Nicholas suffered persecution and imprisonment for his faith during the persecution of Christians, however after his captors released him, he attended the Council of Nicea (seriously, things NO one knows about St. Nick!). Many believe that St. Nicholas was a great defender of the faith against heresy and heretics, especially Arianism (many say he even slapped Arius in the faith at Nicea – what!?). He died on December 6 and many miracles and great devotion are attributed to his tomb and relics.
Many Legends about St. Nicholas
Many legends have sprung up about this early Bishop. One story details a poor man with three daughters who had no dowry. At the time, no dowry meant being sold into slavery. However, on different occasions, bags of gold appeared in their shoes or stockings. Many began hanging stockings or putting out shoes, in hopes that St. Nicholas would fill them with gifts, like oranges (that represent gold balls) or gold coins.
Another story tells about pirates stealing treasures from the Church of St. Nicholas and capturing a boy. The boy was forced to be a king’s servant and his parents were obviously distressed. However, they prayed and kept the feast of St. Nicholas. One day, the boy miraculously disappeared from the king as he was serving, while holding the king’s golden cup. St. Nicholas appeared to him and sent him back to Myra.
Another legend details an evil inkeeper who robbed and murdered three students (some say children, others say “theological students) as they were traveling. St. Nicholas stayed at the inn and dreamed of the crime that night. St. Nicholas prayed and the three students came back to life. There are a ton of different stories, but it is clear that the legend of Santa Claus developed from these stories of his generosity, and his protection and defense of children.
Why a gift?
St. Nicholas is the inspiration for our modern day Santa Claus, and he delighted in giving gifts to children and those in need among his flock as bishop.
Who would be friends with St. Nicholas?
- Bakers (he’s their patron!)
- Those with the love language of gift-giving
Head over to our shop here to find this generous and fierce saint’s collection.