Christmas is first and foremost about the Birth of Christ, but in this post, we will talk about someone who is also very much known during the Christmas holiday season and widely recognized as someone who gives gifts. Yes, we are talking about Santa Claus or Saint Nicholas.
Who is St. Nick?
Not a lot of things are known about St. Nicholas’ life, but we do know that he was born in the third century in Asia Minor. He became a Bishop and has been widely recognized as someone who has charity and love for the poor and the protector of Children.
St. Nicholas’ Background
St. Nicholas came from a rich background but as a young boy, he became an orphan during an epidemic. He was raised by his parents with strong faith and a strong belief to give to the poor. So when his parents died, he sold his inheritance and shared it with the poor. He was then raised by his uncle, and went on the path of becoming a priest, then eventually a Bishop.
St. Nicholas’ Stories and Deeds
One of the most known stories about St. Nicholas is about his charity and help towards a poor man with three daughters. During St. Nicholas’ time, the father of a woman needs to offer a dowry to prospective husbands in order for any marriage to happen. This poor father had no money and no possession of value, therefore there was a slim chance for his daughters to be able to get married. The father had the plan to sell his daughters as slaves or into prostitution for money. Suddenly, on three different occasions, a bag of gold would appear in the poor family’s home near their shoes or stockings. It was St. Nicholas who gave the gold to the family.
St. Nicholas the Protector of Children
St. Nicholas is known to be a saint that protects Children and gives Children gifts. The giving part is known because of his immense charity toward people, but his “title” for being a protector of Children was derived because of a certain story about him.
The story states that there were three small children that were lost and were eventually lured by an evil butcher. The children were murdered by the butcher, then St. Nicholas appears and prays to God to bring the Children back to life and return them to their families. Because of this story, he was known to be a protector of Children.
St. Nicholas Protector of the Faith
St. Nicholas is known to be a protector of the Faith, as he experienced suffering and prosecution for Christ. He was known to be someone who reverently believed and defended the faith and had immense love for the poor. His feast day is on December 6. You can pray to St. Nicholas and ask for his intercession if you are facing challenges in your faith, or if you’d like to build more love and compassion for the poor and in need.
Is Saint Nicholas the same as Santa Claus?
Well, technically Santa Claus and St. Nicholas can be the same person, but at the same time, they are not entirely the same. Santa Claus is a product inspired by the real St. Nicholas. Santa’s Origins may have come from St. Nick himself, but they’re not one and the same. One thing’s for sure, we know that St. Nicholas didn’t live at the north pole nor does he have a toy factory. However, they do share two things, and that’s the charity they both have for people by giving them gifts and their fondness and protection for children.
Prayers to St. Nick
One good way to pray to St. Nicholas is through a novena. We highly suggest you pray the St. Nicholas Novena. It’s a great way to pray and honor St. Nicholas this Christmas season.