/St Nicholas (Cath., Orth.)

St Nicholas (Cath., Orth.)

Nikolaos of Myra, Lycia (now Turkey), was a fourth-century Holy Bishop and a Wonder-worker. Among other things, he took part in the First Council of Nicaea in 325 AD and fiercely opposed the Arian heresy <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arianism>. His particular virtue was in giving gifts to the poor and vulnerable, and thus he inspired today’s Santa Claus. According to legend, among the miracles he achieved through prayer, Nicholas resurrected three murdered boys, and in the Middle Ages was made Patron Saint of Children. In the Netherlands, children receive gifts on St Nicholas’ Day, December 6. The Dutch tradition of Sinterklaas spread with Dutch Protestants to North America and over the centuries has evolved into the present-day, Santa Claus.