Saint Nicholas was born on March 15, 270 in Patara, Roman Empire. He is the patron saint of Children, coopers, sailors, fishermen, merchants, broadcasters, the falsely accused, repentant thieves, brewers, pharmacists, archers, pawnbrokers, Aberdeen, Galway, Russia, Greece, Hellenic Navy, Liverpool, Bari, Siggiewi, Moscow, Amsterdam, Lorraine and Duchy of Lorraine.
His church feast day is on December 6th. It is celebrated as a Christian festival with particular regard to his reputation as a bringer of gifts, as well as through the attendance of Mass or worship services. In Europe, especially in Germany and Poland, boys would dress as bishops begging alms for the poor. In Ukraine, children wait for St. Nicholas to come and to put a present under their pillows provided that the children were good during the year. Children who behaved badly may expect to find a twig or a piece of coal under their pillows. In the U.S. we recognize him as Santa Claus and we celebrate Christmas.
He was born at Patara, Lycia in Asia Minor (now Turkey). In his youth he made a pilgrimage to Egypt and the Palestine area. Shortly after his return he became Bishop of Myra and was later cast into prison during the persecution of Diocletian. He was released after the accession of Constantine and was present at the Council of Nicaea. He later died on December 6th, 343.
Prayer to St. Nicholas
Dear Saint. Nicholas, as the patron saint of children and as the closest thing to a real Santa Claus, please bring many gifts and blessings to all the good children around the world. Pray to God and ask him to be gracious for our children and to protect them. Amen.
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