The feast day of St. Nicholas is celebrated on December 6. He is the patron saint of children, sailors, and bakers. He served as the Bishop of Myra.
St. Nicholas was born in the fourth century in Patara in Lycia, which is a province of Asia Minor. Many churches have been built in his honor. His parents were wealthy but it It is believed he was orphaned at a young age. As a young man he decided to devote his inheritance to charities. After returning from a pilgrimage to Palestine and Egypt he was ordained the Bishop of Myra. He was imprisoned during the Diocletian persecution and released when Constantine came into power.
St. Nicholas was known for his kindness and generosity. He found many opportunities to give away his wealth. One of the stories told about St. Nicholas was that he helped a man who had lost all his money. This man had three daughters to support. In an attempt to save the daughters from prostitution, St. Nicholas, in the dark of night, threw bags of gold coins into their home. The coins landed in their shoes and stockings which were by the fire drying. This is the reason children today put out stockings for Santa Claus at Christmas.
St. Nicholas is also known as Sinterklass in the Dutch culture. Many stories have evolved around the generosity of St. Nicholas. There is a tradition that he enjoyed giving gifts to children in secret. The stories inspired many of the traditions surrounding Santa Claus. The clothing Santa Claus wears is similar to that of a bishop.
St. Nicholas died on December 6, 346.
“The habit of seeing things in the light of faith
lifts us above the mists and the mire of the world.”
Quote of Bl. Charles de Foucauld , Feast Day December 1
December is the Month of the Divine Infancy