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Who Is Saint Nicholas In Christianity?

Saint Nicholas was a Bishop who lived in the fourth century AD in a place called Myra in Asia Minor, which is now commonly known as Turkey. Saint Nicholas was a very rich man who inherited most of his parents money, since they passed away when Nicholas was only a little boy. He was also a very kind man and had a reputation for helping the poor and giving secret gifts to people who needed it.

Saint Nicholas was also considered to be a wonder-worker who brought children back to life. He was also known for his works that mainly included destruction of the pagan temples and saving the lives of many sailors from death at sea.

It is also believed that this very little boy, whom we refer to as Santa Claus, was an infant who was nursed only two days a week and fasted the other five days. Now, this is technically a myth but many consider it to be true.

Now, who exactly is Saint Nicholas and why is he called Father Christmas and Santa Claus?

There was a poor man who had three daughters. He was so poor that he did not have enough money for a dowry, so his daughters couldn't get married. One night, Saint Nicholas or Santa Claus secretly dropped a bag of gold coins down the chimney into the house. The bag fell into a stocking that had been hung by the fire to dry (the Christmas stocking that is still hung today beside a chimney)!

This was repeated later with the second daughter. Finally, determined to discover the person who had given him the money, the poor father secretly hid by the fire every evening. And then one fine night he caught the man who delivered the gold, and he was none other than Saint Nicholas or Santa Claus himself.

Nicholas begged the poor man not to tell anyone what he had done because he did not want to bring attention to himself. However, soon this news spread like wild fire getting everyone's attention in town. Henceforth, whenever anyone received a gift, it was said to be given from none other than Father Christmas himself.

Because of this kindness, Nicholas was made a Saint. He is not only the saint of children but also of sailors. He has said to have rescued sailors who were at storm.

Right across the world, little kids pray to this Holy Saint. Many also write letters to him, in hope that he will one day climb down the chimney to deliver gifts.

Story first published: Monday, December 21, 2015, 18:45 [IST]
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