Blessed Feast of St. Nicholas! St. Nicholas was born circa 280 in present-day T…

Blessed Feast of St. Nicholas!

St. Nicholas was born circa 280 in present-day Turkey. His wealthy parents died in an epidemic while Nicholas was still young and he was raised by his uncle. St. Nicholas became bishop of Myra and was imprisoned during the Diocletian persecution but later released by Constantine. Nicholas attended the first Council of Nicaea and approved the Nicene Creed. It was here that Nicholas punched Arius, leader of Arianism, for professing heresy. Nicholas was removed from office and imprisoned. In prison, Jesus and the Blessed Virgin appeared to Nicholas and restored his rank.

After his death, Nicholas was buried in his church at Myra, and by the 6th century his shrine there had become well-known. In 1087, Italian sailors stole his alleged remains and took them to Bari, Italy; this removal greatly increased the saint’s popularity in Europe and Bari became one of the most crowded of all pilgrimages. Nicholas’s relics remain enshrined in the 11th-century basilica of San Nicola at Bari.

He was reputed to have given marriage dowries on behalf of three poor women. Another legend tells that he restored to life three children who had been dismembered by a butcher and put in a tub of brine. In the Middle Ages, devotion to Nicholas extended to all parts of Europe. He became the patron saint of Russia and Greece; of charitable fraternities and guilds; of children, sailors, unmarried women, merchants, and pawnbrokers. (Source: St. Peter's List)

St. Nicholas, pray for us!

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