Straight from the Reference Desk:

December 6th is the feast day for St. Nicholas.

Who is he and why is he celebrated?

saint.jpg

  • He gave three bags of gold to three girls to be used as their dowry, saving them from prostitution.
  • Nicholas and the three children:
    • In many paintings and manuscripts, St. Nicholas is often depicted standing next to a tub of three small children. According to the Oxford Dictionary of Saints, St. Nicholas is “said to have raised to life three boys, after they were murdered in a brine tub by a butcher.”
  • He saved three unjustly condemned men from death
  • And rescued three sailors near the coast of Turkey.
  • The Institution of Santa Clause:
    • Based upon his patronage of children, with the custom of giving them presents on his feast day.

Farmer, David Hugh. “Nicholas.” The Oxford Dictionary of Saints. 5th ed. Oxford: Oxford UP, 1978. 385-86. Print.

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