How Old Was Saint Nicholas When He Died

Saint Nicholas

Saint Nicholas was a Christian bishop who supplied for the needy and ill and is the origin for the iconic persona of Santa Claus.

Who Was Saint Nicholas?

Saint Nicholas was a Christian bishop who devoted his life to assisting the poor. Following his death, the tale of his gift-giving spread even farther. Saint Nicholas was converted into the renowned persona known as Santa Claus, who is responsible for delivering Christmas gifts to children all over the world.

Early Life

Saint Nicholas was born about the year 280 in Patara, Lycia, which is now a part of the modern-day Turkish Republic. The young man lost both of his parents when he was a small boy. He apparently utilized his fortune to assist the destitute and sick. He was a pious Christian who ultimately rose to the position of bishop of Myra, which is today known as Demre.

Reputation

Saint Nicholas of Myra is the subject of several stories and folklore. One narrative talks of him assisting three impoverished sisters. Their father did not have enough money to pay their dowries and contemplated selling them into slavery in order to supplement his income. A total of three times, Saint Nicholas made a surprise visit to their home at night and left a bag of money at the door. The money was used by the guy to arrange for one of his daughters to marry. The guy saw Saint Nicholas on his third visit and expressed his gratitude to him for his generosity.

Death and Legacy

Saint Nicholas is supposed to have died on December 6, 343 according to a number of different accounts. His miracles and charitable work for the poor expanded throughout the world as word of his miracles and charitable work for the destitute spread. He gained notoriety as a defender of children and seafarers, and he was also linked with the distribution of gifts. At least until the Reformation in the 1500s, he was a popular saint throughout Europe. The Reformation was a theological movement that resulted in the foundation of Protestantism, which rejected the practice of honoring religious figures such as saints.

  • The Dutch continued to commemorate the feast of Saint Nicholas, which took place on December 6.
  • They would find the presents that Saint Nicholas had left for them when they woke up the next morning.
  • While in America, Saint Nicholas underwent several transformations: Sinterklaas became Santa Claus, and instead of presenting presents on December 6, he became an integral part of the Christmas season.
  • Santa Claus, as seen in an 1881 painting by cartoonist Thomas Nast, contributed to the tradition of Saint Nicholas by donning a red outfit with white fur trim.
  • In 2017, a team from the University of Oxford radiocarbon tested a piece of a pelvic bone that was thought to have belonged to Saint Nicholas.
  • The results of the test indicated that the bone fragment, which belonged to an American priest, belonged to the saint’s time period.

When the bone was identified, archaeologists wanted to compare it to other bones that had been attributed to Saint Nicholas, including those that had been held in a crypt at Bari, Italy, since the 11th century.

Fact Check

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St. Nicholas

Since his captivity and subsequent death at the hands of the Roman Emperor, Diocletian, in 345 AD, the renown of the Roman Catholic saint Nicholas of Myra (died 345 AD) has only grown in popularity among Catholics. It wasn’t long before the much-loved character that we associate with the Christmas season became known simply as “Santa Claus.” It is not difficult to distinguish between reality and fable in the narrative of St. Nicholas. Because so little is known about his personal life, we must rely on the tales that have remained to fill in the gaps.

  1. His popularity grew during the Middle Ages, and he eventually became the patron saint of both Greece and Russia.
  2. Until recently, the Netherlands was the only Protestant country that preserved and embellished the mythology of Nicholas.
  3. Nicholas Day by showering gifts on youngsters who had left their shoes outside the night before.
  4. By the middle of the nineteenth century, America had adopted the ritual as the focal point around which the whole celebration of Christmas was centered.

Born to Wealth

Nicholas of Myra was born in Patara, a city in the ancient region of Lycia, in the southern Asian country of Asia Minor, in the early fourth century AD (modern Turkey). It is possible that Nicholas grew up as a spoilt son due to his parents’ financial well-being. Instead, it was stated that he had led a pure and humble life since he was a little child. After his parents perished as a result of the plague, Nicholas began to help the destitute in his neighborhood and in the neighboring towns and countryside.

  • They prayed to God to provide them with a good successor.
  • This is how the tradition came to be.
  • By the time Nicholas died, on December 6, 345, the news of his good actions and claimed miracles had traveled throughout the world, and he was well-known.
  • In the church of Myra, where he had previously served as bishop, Nicholas was laid to rest.
  • The remains of Nicholas were transported to Bari, in the Puglia area of southern Italy, by Italian seamen.
  • When the remains were entombed in the Basilica San Nicola, Pope Urban II officially consecrated the structure.
  • He is still remembered in Bari by the jar that contained this liquid, which is paraded as the centerpiece of a procession on his feast day, December 6, that honors him.
  • An enduring legend about Nicholas is that he used his fortune to safeguard three young girls whose father couldn’t afford to furnish them with sufficient dowries because of his financial difficulties.
  • Apparently, Nicholas placed gold coins in each of three bags and tossed them through the window of the girls’ room.

According to writers Sean Kelly and Rosemary Rogers, in their book titled Saints Preserve Us! they explain that three balls, which signify financial assistance in times of need, became the symbol of the pawn brokers guild. This narrative about St. Nicholas served as the inspiration for their logo.

Defender of Christianity

A governor, Eustaathius, is reported to have been forced to reveal that he had been paid to sentence three innocent men to death in author John Delaney’sDictionary of the Saints by Nicholas, according to the book. A vision of Nicholas arrived in Emperor Constantine’s sleep, informing the emperor that three imperial officers who had been sentenced to death at Constantinople had been found not to be guilty. The next morning, Constantine was able to liberate them. It was as a result of this that Nicholas was designated as the patron saint of prisons.

  1. In his host’s cellar, Nicholas discovered three barrels filled with three slain boys preserved in brine, which he took as proof of his suspicions.
  2. The Germanic deity Thor, who was linked with winter and the Yule log, and who rode on a chariot carried by goats called Cracker and Gnasher, according to some, was the inspiration for the character of Santa Claus.
  3. His was a generation that was not known for its concern for children’s welfare.
  4. Perhaps the most important feature of the Nicholas tale was that it persuaded succeeding generations to show generosity to children at least once a year, which is a tradition that continues today.

Further Reading on St. Nicholas

John J. Delaney’s Pocket Dictionary of Saints was published by Image Books in 1983. Saints Preserve Us, Kelly Rogers, Sean Rogers, and Rosemary Rogers! Random House published the book in 1993. Woodeene, Koenig-Bricker, and others. 365 Saints, published by HarperSanFrancisco in 1995. 2005, St. Joseph’s Daily Missal, the official daily prayer and Mass book of the Roman Catholic Church, was published by the Vatican. The Ukranian Weekly published an article on December 13, 1998. Encyclopedia Brittanica, 5th edition, 1995.

Who is St. Nicholas?

The actual narrative of Santa Claus begins with Nicholas, who was born in the third century in the hamlet of Patara in Asia Minor, and lived until his death in the fourth century. The location was Greek at the time, and it is currently located on the southern coast of Turkey. Nicholas’s rich parents, who had taught him to be a devoted Christian, perished in an epidemic when he was still a child, leaving him to raise alone. Nicholas followed Jesus’ command to “sell what you have and give the money to the poor,” and he utilized his whole inheritance to help the poor, the ill, and those who were in need of assistance.

  • Bishop Nicholas was well-known across the country for his kindness to people in need, his fondness for children, and his care for sailors and ships, among other things.
  • The jails were so overcrowded with bishops, priests, and deacons that there was no place for the true criminals—murderers, thieves, and robbers—to be held.
  • He died on December 6, AD 343 in Myra, and was buried in his cathedral church, where a rare relic known as manna developed in his tomb, which is now preserved at the museum.
  • The anniversary of his death has been commemorated as St.
  • The life and activities of St.
  • These narratives assist us in comprehending his exceptional nature and the reasons why he is so cherished and regarded as a defender and helper of those who are in need.
  • In ancient days, a young woman’s parent had to provide something of value to potential spouses in the form of a dowry.

A lady was unlikely to marry if she did not have a dowry.

On three separate times, a mysteriously appearing bag of gold came at their home, supplying them with the dowries they need.

This resulted in the tradition of youngsters hanging stockings or laying shoes outside their doors in anticipation of gifts from Saint Nicholas.

As a result, three gold balls, which are frequently shown as oranges, are one of the emblems associated with St.

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As a result, St.

One of the first traditions that depicts St.

On the eve of the holy saint’s feast day, the people of Myra were busy commemorating the saint when a gang of Arab pirates from Crete sailed into the area, causing chaos.

As they were about to leave town, they kidnapped a little boy named Basilios and sold him as a slave.

The next year, Basilios served the monarch by giving him wine in an ornate golden cup, which the king appreciated.

As the next St.

She was convinced, though, to have a small observance at home, complete with silent prayers for Basilios’s well-being and safety.

In front of the scared kid, St.

Imagine the delight and amazement on his parents’ faces as Basilios miraculously reappeared in front of them, still carrying the king’s golden cup.

Nicholas safeguarding children, which has since become his principal duty in the Western world.

A vengeful innkeeper stole and killed them, then concealed their bodies in a huge pickling tub for safekeeping.

In the middle of the night, he had a dream about the crime and woke up, calling the innkeeper.

French children’s literature tells the story of three tiny children who wandered away from their play until they became lost, seduced, and caught by a wicked butcher.

Nicholas arrives and implores God to bring them back to life and reunite them with their family.

Nicholas is known as the patron saint of children and their defender.

When he was younger, Nicholas went on a pilgrimage to the Holy Land in order to seek the divine guidance.

When the ship was returning by sea, a powerful storm threatened to sink it.

It took the sailors by surprise when the wind and seas suddenly calmed, saving them all from certain drowning.

Nicholas is known as the patron saint of sailors and voyagers.

He performed several acts of kindness and generosity in secret, with no expectation of receiving anything in return.

As a result, he is revered in the East as a wonder worker, and in the West as the patron of a wide range of people, including children and sailors as well as bankers and pawnbrokers as well as scholars and orphans, laborers, travelers, merchants, judges and paupers as well as marriageable maidens and students as well as sailors and victims of judicial errors as well as captives, perfumers, and even thieves and murderers!

  • He is well-known as a friend and protector to those who are in difficulty or in need (see list).
  • Nicholas as their patron, traveled the world spreading legends of his favor and protection.
  • Nicholas chapels were constructed at a number of seaports.
  • As a result of his baptism, Grand Prince Vladimir I carried the tales of Saint Nicholas and the devotion to Saint Nicholas to his motherland, where Nicholas quickly rose to the position of most cherished saint.
  • Nicholas’ grave in Myra became a renowned pilgrimage destination as a result of his death.
  • The Italian cities of Venice and Bari competed for the relics of St.
  • Sailing from Bari, a seaport on the southeast coast of Italy, in the spring of 1087, seamen were successful in removing the bones and transporting them to the city of Bari.

Nicholas’ crypt, an impressive church was built, and many faithful pilgrims made the journey to pay their respects to the saint, who had rescued countless people, including children, prisoners, sailors, famine victims and many others, through his compassion, generosity, and the countless miracles attributed to his intercession.

  • Throughout the years, Catholics and Orthodox have continued to respect and honor St.
  • St.
  • The legends of St.
  • Boys costumed as bishops collected donations for the destitute in Germany and Poland—and occasionally for themselves, too!
  • Nicholas came in the Netherlands and Belgium on a steamer from Spain, where he rode a white horse on his gift-giving rounds.
  • Saint Nicholas is commemorated on the 5th of December, on the eve of the day before, by exchanging sweets (which are tossed through the door), chocolate initial letters, little presents, and riddles.
  • Nicholas’ horse, expecting that the saint will exchange the items for little gifts.
  • Who is St.
  • an analysis of the text on this page produced a word cloud To see a bigger version of this photograph, please click here.

Wordle.net was used to make this image. Henri Gheon’s Saint Nicholas, published by Sheed & Ward in 1936, with illustrations by Elisabeth Ivanovsky. Copyright courtesy of Elisabeth Ivanovsky, with kind permission to use for the exclusive benefit of St. Nicholas Center. return to the beginning

Who was Saint Nicholas, when did he die and how’s St Nicholas Day celebrated?

St. Nicholas Day is a day when many people offer gifts to their friends and family and tell stories about how his generosity inspired Santa Claus. As the feast day approaches once more, here’s all you need to know about the saint and how he chose to give up his fortune in order to assist the needy. 2 In his life, Saint Nicholas was a compassionate Christian who dedicated himself to aiding the most fortunate. Image courtesy of Alamy

When is St Nicholas Day 2018?

The day, which commemorates the death of Saint Nicholas, is commemorated on December 6, every year. The Orthodox Church, on the other hand, celebrates the day on December 19, not December 19.

Who was St Nicholas?

Saint Nicholas was a Greek bishop of Mira, which is now a part of Turkey, who lived in the fourth century. He was born to rich parents, but he was left an orphan after his parents perished in an epidemic while he was a child. The devout Christian dedicated his life to assisting the poor and needy, even devoting his fortune to the cause of aiding the poor and needy. According to legend, Nicholas came upon a poor guy who couldn’t pay a dowry for his daughters and offered to help him. It is likely that the girls would have ended up as prostitutes if they did not get this payment from their prospective husbands.

  1. Because of the miracles credited to him, he is also referred to as Nicholas the Wonderworker (or Nicholas the Wonderworker).
  2. Image courtesy of Alamy He was particularly well-known for his covert gift-giving and for placing cash in people’s shoes, which earned him a reputation as a prankster.
  3. On December 6, 343AD, he passed away, and as a consequence of his humanitarian deeds, he was canonized and elevated to the status of a saint.
  4. When the Dutch arrived in America, they brought their version of Santa Claus, known as “Sinterklaas,” with them.

How is Saint Nicholas Day celebrated?

A Greek bishop in the 4th century, Saint Nicholas served the city of Mira, now a part of Turkey. Affluent parents raised him, but he was left an orphan when his parents perished in an epidemic when he was young. It was the faithful Christian’s life’s work to aid the poor and needy, and he even gave away his fortune to help them. Apparently, Nicholas came across a poor father who was unable to provide dowries for his daughters. According to legend, Nicholas offered to help him out. Without this payment to their prospective husbands, the girls would not be able to marry – and would most likely wind up as prostitutes.

Nicholas the Wonderworker is a nickname given to him because of the miracles ascribed to him.

Photograph courtesy of Alamy.

On December 6, 343AD, he passed away, and as a result of his generous deeds, he was canonized and canonized again.

After settling in America, the Dutch carried the name “Sinterklaas” with them, and he eventually became known as “Santa Claus.”

Who Was St. Nicholas?

We know relatively little about the life of St. Nicholas from historical records. Not even his death date, which is December 6, is known for definite, despite the fact that both the Catholic and Eastern Orthodox churches have commemorated it for more than 1,000 years. After his death, Nicholas became the subject of a slew of folk tales that continued for more than a century after his death. In addition to saving condemned sailors by halting a fierce storm, he was credited with providing financial assistance to a father who was forced to sell his daughters into prostitution and even bringing back to life a trio of boys who had been dismembered by an unscrupulous butcher.

  • He is also widely regarded as the basis for the character of Santa Claus.
  • The legend of St.
  • In the Netherlands, St.
  • A tall, white-haired man dressed in red clerical robes was described as arriving by boat on December 6 to deliver presents or coal lumps to children’s orphanages across the world.
  • Washington Irving depicted St.
  • Nicholas that became widely popular over time.
  • Nicholas did not reside in Turkey, Spain, or Holland, but rather at the North Pole, back in 1879.

Who was Saint Nicholas? Everything You Need to Know

Lists of recommendations: Lists of recommendations: Saint Nicholas, sometimes known as ‘Nicholas of Myra’ or ‘Nicholas of Bari,’ was a fourth-century saint who served as the Greek Bishop of Myra (modern-day Demre, Turkey) during the Christmas season. He was raised in a religious environment and was ordained as a Bishop at an early age. The impoverished and the needy were taken care of by him, and he is also known as “Nicholas the Wonder-worker” because of a number of miracles that have been associated with him during his mythical life.

  • Nicholas is the patron saint of unmarried girls and young children, sailors, jail inmates, university students, merchants, and a number of countries and cities, including Russia, Greece, and the Russian capital of Moscow.
  • Nicholas Day,’ and children in many nations get presents on this day in honor of one of the most popular minor Saints of all time.
  • St.
  • (present-day Turkey).
  • His uncle, the Bishop of Patara, was the one who raised him.
  • With his inheritance in hand, he was resolved to utilize it to aid the poor and the needy.
  • He is credited for assisting many people and was well-known for his practice of hidden gift-giving.
  • DeathLegacy The date of St.

Previously, it was considered that he was buried at Myra, but current archeological findings say that he was most likely buried on the Turkish island of Gemile in a chapel erected in the 4th century, and that his bones were later transported to Myra, which was safer than the Arab-infested Gemile.

  1. His mausoleum in Myra became a popular pilgrimage destination.
  2. Nicholas as a result of invasions and fears of attacks from the outside world.
  3. Several fragments of the relics are thought to have spread to various locations across the world.
  4. His miracles were a popular subject for painters of the time period, and they may be seen etched on the stained glass windows of several churches across the world.
  5. Following the Protestant Reformation in the 1500s, there was a fall in religious fervor and dedication.
  6. His name was ‘Sinterklaas’ in the Dutch language, and it was the Dutch emigrants who brought the tradition of this gift-giving St.

Nicholas to the New World in the year 1700. After several alterations, he was transformed into Santa Claus, a kind, jovial figure who gives gifts to children throughout the Christmas season.

The History of How St. Nicholas Became Santa Claus

It doesn’t take a genius to figure out where Santa Claus comes from: the North Pole. His historical excursion, on the other hand, is both lengthier and more amazing than his yearly, one-night round of the world. A mythology of Santa Claus developed across northern Europe, and he ultimately took on his current appearance on the coasts of the New World, where he was born in the Mediterranean during the Roman Empire. Who is this progenitor of Santa Claus, and how has he changed over history? For further information, see “Christmas in July—Inside a Santa Summer Camp.”

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Jolly Old St. Nicholas?

Every year on December 6, the faithful gather in towns all over the world to commemorate St. Nicholas Day, with the major celebrations taking place in Europe. While there are many different depictions of St. Nicholas, none of them look anything like the red-cheeked, white-bearded elderly guy who may be found everywhere today. Modern forensic face reconstruction techniques were used to produce one of the most striking depictions of the genuine St. Nick, who lived in the third and fourth centuries and lived in the third and fourth centuries.

  1. Nicholas’s remains continues to this day, but it has long been believed that the bones of the Greek bishop were stolen by Italian sailors during the 11th century and transported to the crypt of the Basilica di San Nicola on the Italian coast’s southeast coast.
  2. ” Could the Remains of Santa Claus Be in This Turkish Church?” (For speculations on other probable resting sites for St.
  3. Wilkinson gave Santa’s original namesake a human face, one with a terribly damaged nose, which may have occurred during the persecution of Christians under the Roman Emperor Diocletian, according to historical accounts.
  4. Two-dimensional data was used to reconstruct the size and shape of the facial muscles that originally covered Nicholas’s skull, and three-dimensional data from two-dimensional data was used to reconstruct the shape of Nicholas’s skull itself.

When working from photographs, Wilkinson admits that “we are bound to have lost some of the level of detail you would get from working from life,” but he believes that “this is the closest we are ever going to get to him.” The project’s feature film, The Real Face of Santa, which aired on BBC Two, was a documentary about the project.

From bishop to gift giver

How did this St. Nicholas become the bringer of Christmas presents from the North Pole, where he now resides? The first saint was a Greek who lived in the late third century, approximately 280 A.D., and was martyred. He was elevated to the position of bishop of Myra, a tiny Roman town in modern Turkey. However, during the Great Persecution in 303, when Bibles were burned and priests were forced to recant their Christian beliefs or face execution, Nicholas gained a reputation as a fiery, wiry and uncompromising supporter of church teaching.

  1. Nicholas’s renown lasted for a long time after his death (which occurred on December 6 in the mid-fourth century, about 343) because he was linked with several miracles, and veneration for him continues to this day, regardless of whether or not it is associated with Christmas.
  2. Nicholas rose to prominence among the saints as a result of his role as patron saint of a large number of organizations.
  3. During the most well-known version of the story, three young girls are spared from a life of prostitution when young Bishop Nicholas sends three bags of gold to their indebted father, which may be used to pay for their dowries.
  4. Nicholas walked into an inn whose keeper had recently murdered three lads and pickled their mutilated remains in cellar barrels.
  5. Not only did the bishop detect the crime, but he also brought the victims back to life.
  6. Nicholas was the undisputed bringer of presents and the toast of celebrations centered on his feast day, December 6, and he was never challenged.
  7. He also made certain that the children stayed on the right side of the law by encouraging them to pray and demonstrate good behavior.
  8. “That was an issue,” Bowler said.
  9. Bowler stated that, in many situations, the responsibility rested on the shoulders of infant Jesus, and the date was changed from December 6 to Christmas.

Consequently, the Christ child was frequently accompanied by a frightening companion to assist him with the carrying of gifts and intimidating of children, which did not seem suitable coming from the infant Jesus.” Some of these frightening Germanic creatures were modeled on Nicholas once more, this time as a dangerous sidekick rather than as a saint, like Ru-klaus (Rough Nicholas), Aschenklas (Ashy Nicholas), and Pelznickel (Pelznickel) were (Furry Nicholas).

This group of personalities either expected youngsters to behave well or subjected them to punishments such as whippings or kidnappings.

Despite their apparent dissimilarity to the cheerful guy in red, these vibrant figures would eventually play an important role in the formation of Santa himself. (This is related to: “What Is the Meaning of Krampus? The Horrific Christmas Devil is explained in detail “) ) ) ) ) ) ) )

Coming to America

In the Netherlands, children and families just refused to give up the tradition of St. Nicholas bringing gifts. They transported the tale of Sinterklaas with them to the New World colonies, where the legends of the hairy and terrifying Germanic gift bringers persisted as well. However, Christmas in early America was very different from the present celebration. In New England, the event was avoided, and in other parts of the country, it had taken on the appearance of the pagan Saturnalia that had formerly held the same spot on the calendar.

  • And there was no specific, mystical gift-giver who appeared.” Then, during the first decades of the nineteenth century, everything changed owing to a group of poets and authors who worked hard to make Christmas a family celebration—by renewing and rebuilding the figure of St.
  • Nickerbocker’s History of New York, written by Washington Irving in 1809, depicted a pipe-smoking Nicholas floating above the roofs in a flying wagon, giving presents to good girls and boys and switching presents with bad ones.
  • With this apparition, “Santa Claus” has made his public debut, according to Bowler.
  • Nicholas’ supernatural gift-giving, which has been stripped of all religious qualities.
  • Originally written for his six children, Clement Clarke Moore’s “A Visit From St.
  • Moore had no intention of contributing to the burgeoning Santa Claus myth.
  • “It went viral,” Bowler said of the video.
  • The photograph, which Bowler described as “absolutely the likeness of George Washington riding on a broomstick,” was taken by him.
  • Santa’s cheery, chubby, grandfatherly look was mostly conceived by Thomas Nast, the renowned political cartoonist of an era in which there were many of them.

According to Bowler, “He’s done an excellent job of taming these characters from the late medieval period that were like something out of a Grimm’s Fairy Tale.”

The Santa problem

Though he undoubtedly means well, Santa has certainly stirred up, and continues to create, more than his fair share of controversy. In Russia, Santa Claus fell afoul of Josef Stalin. Before the Russian Revolution, Grandfather Frost (Ded Moroz) was a favored figure of Christmas who had adopted characteristics of proto-Santas like the Dutch Sinterklaas. “When the Soviet Union was formed, the communists abolished the celebration of Christmas and gift bringers,” Bowler said. “Then in the 1930s, when Stalin needed to build support, he allowed the reemergence of Grandfather Frost not as a Christmas gift bringer but as a New Year’s gift bringer,” Bowler added.

  • “Everywhere they went after World War II, the Soviets tried to replace the native gift bringers in places like Poland or Bulgaria,” Bowler explained.
  • American troops spread their version of the jolly man around the world in the years immediately following World War II, and he was generally welcomed, Bowler said, as a symbol of American generosity in rebuilding war-ravaged lands.
  • Sometimes Santa is rejected because he’s not a local.
  • Such efforts seem unlikely to stop a growing interest in Santa Claus, but their organizers may save him a few stops on his busy Christmas Eve schedule.
  • It was originally published on December 20, 2013.

St. Nicholas is Dead and His Bones Are Leaking

Santa Claus and Christmas traditions are derived from Saint Nicholas, who was a historical figure who influenced them. A necromancer by trade, he was also the patron saint of children, sailors, and prostitutes in his native Turkey. Oh, and his bones are starting to leak. Turkmenistan’s Antalya Museum is home to an impressive collection of Saint Nicholas bones. An Italian woman donated these antiques to Turkish authorities in 1925, and they are now in their possession. When others hear that you and I gather human remains, they think we’re odd and disturbing.

  • However, as illustrated by the history of the catacomb saints, it is not always possible to determine who the bones genuinely belong to.
  • Nicholas, a Turkish bishop who lived in the 4th century and is credited with bringing dead infants back to life and saving young ladies from a life of prostitution.
  • However, as is often the case with historical people, the fate of his remains is a source of considerable anxiety.
  • What if the relics of St.

What’s left of Kris Kringle – perhaps a bit of his holy pelvis – is at a church in Morton Grove, Illinois, according to some reports. Here’s what we currently know.

Historical Santa Claus

It is believed that the name of our current Christmas god, Santa Claus, was taken from Sinterklaas, which is the Dutch term for Saint Nicholas. Nicholas was the bishop of Myra, a Roman town in what is now modern-day Turkey, and a member of the Order of St. Nicholas. In St. Nicholas’ day, his miraculous and philanthropic deeds were well-known across the world. A impoverished family was claimed to have received dowry in the form of anonymous gold coins, rescuing the girls’ lives from slavery and prostitution, according to the legend of the man.

This narrative inspired the development of a medieval ritual that culminated in the gift-giving event known as St.

During a time of extreme hunger, according to another tale, a butcher made a career by enticing youngsters into his home where he would slaughter them, chop them up, and sell them in barrels as food.

Nicholas of these crimes, the bishop immediately hurried to the butcher’s house and saved the lives of three boys who were about to be slaughtered by the butcher.

Saint Nicholas even went to the Council of Nicea, a gathering presided over by Emperor Constantine in the year 325 where the first uniform Christian doctrine was debated over and decided upon by approximately 300 bishops in order to determine the official canon of the Christian religion, which was presided over by Emperor Constantine in the year 325 When a speaker from Alexandria by the name of Arius spoke at the synod, he argued against the erroneous idea that God and Jesus were not the same entity.

  1. According to Arius, God the Father placed authority on his son, so declaring Jesus to be God’s first creation and making him his first creation.
  2. Nicholas became enraged at Arius’s assertions and smacked him in the face.
  3. Nicholas, according to the legend, spent the night in chains, pleading with God for pardon.
  4. The incident was brought to Constantine’s attention, and he immediately ordered Nicholas’ release and full reinstatement as bishop of Myra.
  5. Nicholas died, which is generally thought to have occurred on December 6, about 343 AD, he was laid in a stone tomb in the church where he had served as a priest.
  6. Christians made pilgrimages to his tomb to pay their respects.
  7. Nicholas, the historical inspiration for Santa Claus, may be found in Turkey among the ruins of a 4th century church.
  8. Italian seamen pried up St.

Nicholas’ coffin out of fear that his remains might be damaged and transported his bones to Bari, where they felt they would be secure. The ruined tomb may still be seen today among the ruins of a Byzantine church in Demre, Turkey, where it was discovered in the late 19th century.

St Nicholas Bones in Bari

Luigi Martino, a renowned professor, examines the skull of St. Nicholas. It was Pope Urban II who, in 1089, deposited the stolen bones in the Basilica di San Nicola, where they remained undisturbed for over 900 years before being discovered. When the bones were taken for safekeeping while the church was being renovated in 1953, the crypt was reopened. The Pontifical Commission sent to investigate the crypt discovered several bones, including an almost intact skull that was considered to have belonged to a man who had lived until the age of seventy-five.

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The manna of St.

Holy Manna

A sweet-smelling, greasy liquid appeared to be flowing from the bones of St. Nicholas, which baffled the investigators. Even more puzzling, the church determined that the liquid was holy and had medicinal capabilities after doing extensive research. It was given the nameManna di S. Nicola. Annually, on May 9th, during a ceremony known as the Feast of the Translation, pilgrims flock to the tomb to obtain healing from the manna, which is ceremoniously taken from the crypt and distributed to those in need.

  1. It is referring to the bones that are being transported from Myra to Bari in this instance.
  2. In Bari, at the Feast of the Translation, the holy manna is extracted from the ground.
  3. Nicholas hand painted by local artisans on the front and back.
  4. In 1925, scientists at the University of Bari conducted research on the material.
  5. Most likely, it was only moisture that formed within the tomb.

The Other Relics of St. Nicholas

Relics — the bones or mummified remains of Catholic saints, as well as artifacts they may have come into touch with during their lives or after death – come in a variety of shapes and sizes, depending on their origin. It is customary for them to be housed in opulent reliquaries fashioned of gold or studded with valuable stones, and they can take on the form of anything from boxes to arms to life-size statues of the saint. Furthermore, they are rarely accompanied by any documentation of origin.

  • Apparently, he has fragments of himself spread all over the world.
  • Nicholas, the St.
  • It is believed that the reliquary at Sint-Niklaaskerk in Belgium contains a “particle” of St.
  • The Chiesa di San Nicoló al Lido in Venice is the second major depository of St.
  • In 1925, an Italian woman presented Turkish authorities with a casket containing five portions of St.
  • For more than 900 years, a chunk of bone with the saint’s face cut into it has been passed down via the Poveromo family, who are descended from one of those first sailor families.
  • Nicholas beneath the elaborately tiled mosaic floor of a church in Turkey’s Antalya district, further complicating the situation.
  • Nicholas, which are revered relics in more than a dozen churches across the world, including Russia, France, and the Palestinian territories.
  • Nicholas Orthodox Church in New York City, which was completely demolished when the World Trade Center collapsed on September 11, 2001, was notable.

“The relics were never found and were never retrieved.” The fact that, while legends of Nicholas’ dead body exuding magic liquid date back to his early years as a dead guy in Myra, none of these other relics appear to be oozing any type of magical liquid is worth pointing out.

The Merry Pelvis of Santa Claus

We may never know which, if any, of these bones genuinely belong to the real Saint Nicholas unless a polar expedition unearths a sparkling coffin of ice that has been carved from elves and decked with candy canes and popcorn garland. However, it was another finding made in 2017 that has offered the most conclusive proof to date. Located in the community of Morton Grove, Illinois, St. Martha of Bethany ChurchShrine of All Saints is home to a collection of relics representing more than 3000 saints, including those of St.

  1. They include a sliver of pubic bone that Father Dennis O’Neill purchased from a vendor on the internet auction site eBay.
  2. The dealer had previously sold alleged relics of Saints Francis of Assisi and Joan of Arc, as well as St.
  3. The bone, according to Live Science, was purchased from the collector as part of a lot that also included burial fabrics allegedly belonging to St.
  4. John Francis Regis (1597-1616), a mandible allegedly belonging to St.
  5. Fiacre (who died around 640).
  6. “It is a shame to sell relics,” O’Neill stated emphatically.
  7. (Author’s note: I’m also on the lookout for inexpensive relics for my.um.church.if anyone happens to have any parts of saints laying about, please let me know.) St.

Although it is unclear where it originated, this Santa pelvis appears to be the real deal.

Nicholas, contrary to previous claims about relics.

They determined that it was from the 4th century, putting it in the right time period.

At the very least, these findings demonstrate that this bone dates from the appropriate historical period, increasing the likelihood that it is legitimate.

Nicholas Center stated in a statement about the study.

Venetians have also discovered remains of pelvic bones.

Nicholas are indeed from the same individual.

The practice of cannibalism and the presence of prostitutes are unfortunately absent from our modernChristmastraditions. The tales of Saint Nicholas, on the other hand, continue to permeate our Christmas celebrations over 1,700 years after his death.

Saint Nicholas

Since his captivity and subsequent death at the hands of the Roman Emperor, Diocletian, in 345 AD, the renown of the Roman Catholic saint Nicholas of Myra (died 345 AD) has only grown in popularity among Catholics. As time passed, the much-loved character that we have come to identify with the Christmas holiday became known as “Santa Claus.” It is not difficult to distinguish between reality and fable in the narrative of St. Nicholas. Because so little is known about his personal life, we must rely on the tales that have remained to fill in the gaps.

  1. By the Middle Ages, he had risen to become the patron saint of both Greece and Russia, and he was venerated as such across the world.
  2. Until recently, the Netherlands was the only Protestant country that preserved and embellished the mythology of Nicholas.
  3. Nicholas Day by showering gifts on youngsters who had left their shoes outside the night before.
  4. By the middle of the nineteenth century, America had adopted the ritual as the focal point around which the whole celebration of Christmas was centered.

Born to Wealth

Nicholas of Myra was born in Patara, a city in the ancient region of Lycia, in the southern Asian country of Asia Minor, in the early fourth century AD (modern Turkey). It is possible that Nicholas grew up as a spoilt son due to his parents’ financial well-being. Instead, it was stated that he had led a pure and humble life since he was a little child. After his parents perished as a result of the plague, Nicholas began to help the destitute in his neighborhood and in the neighboring towns and countryside.

  1. They prayed to God to provide them with a good successor.
  2. This is how the tradition came to be.
  3. By the time Nicholas died, on December 6, 345, the news of his good actions and claimed miracles had traveled throughout the world, and he was well-known.
  4. In the church of Myra, where he had previously served as bishop, Nicholas was laid to rest.
  5. The remains of Nicholas were transported to Bari, in the Puglia area of southern Italy, by Italian seamen.
  6. When the remains were entombed in the Basilica San Nicola, Pope Urban II officially consecrated the structure.
  7. He is still remembered in Bari by the jar that contained this liquid, which is paraded as the centerpiece of a procession on his feast day, December 6, that honors him.
  8. An enduring legend about Nicholas is that he used his fortune to safeguard three young girls whose father couldn’t afford to furnish them with sufficient dowries because of his financial difficulties.
  9. Apparently, Nicholas placed gold coins in each of three bags and tossed them through the window of the girls’ room.

According to writers Sean Kelly and Rosemary Rogers, in their book titled Saints Preserve Us! they explain that three balls, which signify financial assistance in times of need, became the symbol of the pawn brokers guild. This narrative about St. Nicholas served as the inspiration for their logo.

Defender of Christianity

A governor, Eustaathius, is reported to have been forced to reveal that he had been paid to sentence three innocent men to death in author John Delaney’sDictionary of the Saints by Nicholas, according to the book. A vision of Nicholas arrived in Emperor Constantine’s sleep, informing the emperor that three imperial officers who had been sentenced to death at Constantinople had been found not to be guilty. The next morning, Constantine was able to liberate them. It was as a result of this that Nicholas was designated as the patron saint of prisons.

In his host’s cellar, Nicholas discovered three barrels filled with three slain boys preserved in brine, which he took as proof of his suspicions.

The Germanic deity Thor, who was linked with winter and the Yule log, and who rode on a chariot carried by goats called Cracker and Gnasher, according to some, was the inspiration for the character of Santa Claus.

His was a generation that was not known for its concern for children’s welfare.

Perhaps the most important feature of the Nicholas tale was that it persuaded succeeding generations to show generosity to children at least once a year, which is a tradition that continues today.

Further Reading

Kelly, Sean, and Rosemary Rogers, Saints Preserve Us!, Image Books, 1983. Delaney, John J., Pocket Dictionary of Saints, Image Books, 1983. The 365 Saints, published by HarperSanFrancisco in 1995, was written by Woodeene Koenig-Bricker and published by Random House in 1993. The official daily prayer and Mass book of the Roman Catholic Church, published in 1955. The Ukranian Weekly, published on December 13, 1998. Encyclopaedia Britannica, published in 1995. You may find it at:. □

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