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Throughout his ministry, Bishop Nicholas selflessly poured out his life and his fortune as he served the people in and around his home.

The Giving Bishop

The story of our modern Santa Claus begins with this same Nicholas, who was born during the third century in Patara, a village in what is now Demre, Turkey. His wealthy parents raised him as a Christian. But they died in an epidemic while Nicholas was still young, and he was left with their fortune. Obeying Jesus' words to "sell what you own and give the money to the poor," Nicholas used his inheritance to assist the suffering, the sick, and the poor.


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ST. NICHOLAS DAY – December 6
St. Nicholas Day is observed annually on December 6.

St. Nicholas Day celebrates the third-century saint who sold all his possessions and gave his money to the poor. Raised to be a devout Christian, his whole life was dedicated to serving the sick and suffering.

There are several legendary stories about St. Nicholas which later become part of the inspiration for the modern-day Santa Claus.

For example, during the third century, a daughter was more likely to be married if her father could offer a large dowry to prospective husbands. The story goes that a poor father with three daughters had no dowry to offer. On three separate occasions, it is said good Ol’ St. Nicholas made bags of gold appear in the girls’ shoes drying by the fire at night.

While St. Nicholas Day traditions include leaving gifts in shoes (or stockings) or the exchange of small gifts, it is not to be confused with Christmas. Traditionally, treats are left for good boys and girls, and a twig or chunk of coal for the naughty ones.

Interesting facts associated with St. Nicholas:

He is the patron saint of a great many causes including sailors, travelers, clergy, school children and thieves just to name a few.
He was born in the village of Patar which was located on the southeastern coast of modern-day Turkey.
Buried in a tomb in Myra, water believed to have healing powers formed in his grave. It is called the Manna of Saint Nicholas.
December 6th is also known as The Feast of St. Nicholas and is widely celebrated in Europe.


Surprise someone with a treat on St. Nicholas Day or slip a gift into their shoe. Use #StNicholasDay to post on social media.


St. Nicholas Day is celebrated worldwide on the anniversary of his death, December 6.

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