Saint Nicholas

Saint Nicholas, born on March 15, 270 A.D., is one of the most well-known religious leaders admired by many churches and Christians. He was the only son of wealthy parents who helped others in need through charity work. Saint Nicholas gave his life to God at an early age and has been an advocate for the Christian faith and a helper to the destitute and sick ever since. To this day, the anniversary of his death is commemorated on December 6 — “St. Nicholas Day” — when people exchange gifts. In honor of his birthday month, we’ve compiled a list of noteworthy facts about his life.

Fast Facts

Full Name:

Saint Nicholas

Nickname:

Nicholas of Bali, Nicholas of Myra, Boy Bishop

Birth date:

March 15, 2022

Death date:

December 6, 2022 (age 0)

Zodiac Sign:

Pisces

Height:

5' 6"

Relationship Status:

Single

Net Worth:

$1.5 million

Background

Born in the third century on March 15, Saint Nicholas became known for his strong Christian faith and generosity and has become a patron saint to many people and churches in Europe. He was an only child and was born into a wealthy family in the village of Patara in Asia Minor, which is now known as the southern coast of Turkey. Nicholas’s parents, who died in an epidemic, raised him to be a dedicated Christian. After his parent’s death, Nicholas was taken in by his uncle as he was still a child. Obedient to God’s commands to help those in need, Nicholas used his entire inheritance from his parent’s death to help the sick and the poor. He soon became known for his generosity, love for children, and his strong Christian faith.

Nicholas traveled to Egypt and Palestine while still a child, and upon his return to Myra, he became a bishop. During the Roman Empire, Nicholas was exiled and imprisoned for five years by the Roman Emperor, Diocletian, who was known for his merciless execution of Christians. Despite being imprisoned and tortured, Saint Nicholas stood strong in his faith. In 325 A.D., the religious leader was released from prison. Following his release, he attended the first Council of Nicaea — a council aimed at preserving the Christian faith and unity of the church that was threatened by those with non-Christian beliefs.

Before Nicholas died on December 6, 343 A.D., there are various legends surrounding his work. Apart from being a respectful religious leader, he was known for rescuing three young girls from being sold into prostitution by leaving a sack of gold coins at their window, so that their father could pay a dowry, or marriage settlement, for each of his daughters to find husbands. Another legend tells the story of how he saved three innocent soldiers from being executed, and resurrected three children who have been murdered by a butcher who planned to sell their cooked body parts as pork.

Nicholas’ remains were buried in his Cathedral churchyard after his death. In 1087, the remains of Nicholas were illegally removed from the church by Italian merchants and taken to Bari, Italy. His skeletal bones, or relics, have been acquired by many churches worldwide. Today, the anniversary of his death is celebrated every year on December 6, known as St Nicholas Day. On this day, children receive gifts and share riddles and legends about the inspirational third-century Saint.

Career timeline

300 A.D.
Bishop of Myra

After a long trip to Egypt and Palestine, Nicholas returns to Myra and becomes a bishop.

301 A.D.
Exiled and Imprisoned

Under the rule of Roman Emperor Diocletian, Nicholas spends five years in prison because of his Christian faith.

306 A.D.
Released from Prison

Under the orders of Emperor Constantine the Great, Nicholas is released from prison.

325 A.D.
Attends Council of Nicaea

Nicholas attends the first council of Nicaea.

343 A.D.
Nicholas Dies

On December 6, Nicholas passes away from natural causes.

Why We Love Saint Nicholas

  1. He stood strong in his Christian faith

    Despite being exiled, imprisoned, and tortured for years because of his Christian faith, Nicholas never gave up believing. He inspires all to stand up for their beliefs, no matter the differing opinions.

  2. He was generous and kind

    After his parents died, Nicholas used his entire inheritance to help those in need. He was inspired by the charity work of his parents.

  3. His love for children was admirable

    Nicholas was known for giving out anonymous gifts to children. In addition, it is believed that he resurrected three children after being murdered by a cruel butcher.

5 Surprising Facts

  1. He was called ‘Boy Bishop’

    Nicholas became a bishop while still a young man, giving him the nickname ‘Boy Bishop.’

  2. Nuns started giving gifts under his name

    During the Middle Ages, a group of French nuns gave out anonymous gifts and money to the poor, just like Nicholas did, and said they were from him.

  3. He had ‘manna’ in his bones

    A sweet liquid known as ‘manna 'was found in his bones centuries later, which many said to have healing powers.

  4. His name is of Greek origin

    Nicholas’s name originates from Greek and translates to ‘Victor of People.’

  5. “Santa Claus” was inspired by Nicholas

    The tradition of receiving gifts from Santa Claus was inspired by the generous gift-giving from Nicholas to the poor when he was still alive.

Saint Nicholas FAQs

How is St. Nicholas Day celebrated?

Children leave shoes or stockings outside their bedroom door for St. Nicholas to come around and leave them gifts, just like Santa Claus.

What did St. Nicolas look like?

As per researchers, Nicholas was tall and was likely to have olive skin, dark brown eyes, and a wide chin and brow.

What did St. Nicholas wear?

He wore red robes while giving gifts to the poor.

Saint Nicholas’s birthday dates

YearDateDay
2023March 15Wednesday
2024March 15Friday
2025March 15Saturday
2026March 15Sunday
2027March 15Monday

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