Everyone knows Santa Claus, but do you know Saint Nicholas? Born in Lycia, now Turkey, around the year 270, Saint Nicholas, or Nicholas of Myra, is a historical figure who has marked the history of Christianity.
He was a fairly important bishop who attended the Council of Nicea in 325, the first ecumenical council of Christianity in Constantinople.
During his life, a number of miracles are attributed to him, including the most famous legend in Lorraine of the little children.
St. Nicholas is especially recognized towards the defense of the faith. But it is by his gifts that children all over the world recognize him!
When Nicholas was young, a pandemic hit the city and his parents died. Nicholas went to live with his uncle. It was during this time that he began a life dedicated to the church through religious practice. He led an exemplary life.
His burial place in Demre in Turkey has become a place of pilgrimage. St. Nicholas of Myra is one of the most popular saints today. St. Nicholas is also a holiday celebrated in many European countries on December 6.
This great character is also the origin of Santa Claus. Indeed, among the miracles attributed to St. Nicholas of Myra, we can cite the resuscitation of many children killed by a butcher. This is the reason why Saint Nicholas is called the “Protector of the little ones”.
Santa Claus, who appeared in the 19th century, is a mythical character inspired by Saint Nicholas. It is only at the end of the Second World War that the figure of Santa Claus spread throughout Europe before arriving in the United States.
Santa Claus is considered by the Catholic Church as a pagan character. The figure of the Bishop of Myre is still very present in many French regions such as Flanders and Franche-Comté.