ST. NICOLAS OF BARI, BISHOP
Saint Nicholas (270–343), also called Nikolaos of Myra, was a Greek Bishop of Myra (Demre, part of modern-day Turkey) in Lycia. Because of the many miracles attributed to his intercession, he is also known as Nikolaos the Wonderworker.
He had a reputation for secret gift-giving, such as putting coins in the shoes of those who left them out for him, and thus became the model for Santa Claus, whose modern name comes from the Dutch Sinterklaas, itself from a series of elisions and corruptions of the transliteration of “Saint Nikolaos.”
According to the Butler, the author of the Lives of Saints, “Charity in comforting and relieving the distressed, seemed his characteristic virtue. Among many other instances, it is related, that when three young virgins were exposed through distress to the danger of falling into vicious courses, he, for three successive nights, conveyed to them through the window a competent sum of money for a fortune for one of them, so that they were all portioned, and afterwards happily married. …St. Nicholas is esteemed a patron of children, because he was from his infancy a model of innocence and virtue, and to form that tender age to sincere piety was always his first care and delight.”
In 1087, part of his relics were brought to Bari, in southeastern Italy, and for this reason, he is also known as Nikolaos of Bari. The remaining bones were taken to Venice in 1100.
We implore your love and mercy, Lord,
to protect us from all danger.
Through the prayer of Saint Nicholas,
lead us to salvation by paths that are swift and sure.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.