St. Nicholas, also called Nicholas of Bari or Nicholas of Myra, was born December 6 during the 4th century in Myra, Lycia (modern day Turkey). He is one of the most popular minor saints commemorated in the Eastern and Western churches and now traditionally associated with the festival of Christmas. In many countries children receive gifts on December 6, St. Nicholas Day. He is one of the patron saints of children and of sailors.
As legend has it, Nicholas was born into a wealthy family and was known for being a philanthropist, giving toys and treats to poor children. He was reputed to have given marriage dowries of gold to three girls in poverty, saving them from a unsavory life of despair.
A very devoted religious man himself, Nicholas is believed to have struck a priest in the face for statements made against the church. This particular incident led to Nicholas being expelled from the church. Once community members found out what happened, they rallied behind their beloved gift giver, and Nicholas was reinstated to the church with the title of Saint.
We believe St. Nicholas's spirit of generosity and giving lives on in all of us.