ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Saint Nicholas and His Stories

Updated on October 25, 2016

Santa Claus's story begins with Saint Nicholas. Saint Nicholas's birth place is the village of Patara and he was born in the 4th century. The area was controlled by the Greeks and now is the southern coast of Turkey. Saint Nicholas's parents were wealthy and raised him to be a devout Christian. Nicholas was young when his parents died. He sold what he owned and used all the money to help the needy, the sick and the suffering like Jesus said. Saint Nicholas spent his entire life serving God. He was a very young man when he was made Bishop of Myra. Bishop Nicholas was Known for helping people in need and his love of children. He also looked after sailors and their ships.

See page for author [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
See page for author [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons | Source

Roman Emperor Diocletian persecuted the Christians. Bishop Nicholas was sent to prison because he was a Christian. There were so many bishops, priests and deacons in the prisons that there was no place for the murderers, thieves, and robbers. When Nicholas was released from prison he went to the Council of Nicaea in 325AD. On December 6, 343AD he died in Myra. They laid him to rest in his cathedral church where a unique relic, called manna, formed in his grave. It was a liquid that was said to have healing powers. It promoted the growth of devotion. The day of his death is now called Saint Nicholas Day and great celebrations are held on this day around the world.

Centuries have passed and there are many legends and stories told about Saint Nicholas's life and good deeds. These stories help us understand his great character. They help us understand why he is so revered as a protector and helper of the needy.

Gentile da Fabriano [Public domain or Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
Gentile da Fabriano [Public domain or Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons | Source

There is a story about a poor father and his 3 daughters. During this time women had to have a dowry to give to their perspective h;husband. Without a dowry, a woman usually did not get married. She would usually be sold and become a slave. From out of now where 3 bags of gold showed up in their home. The bags of gold were thrown through an open window and landed in shoes or stockings so now the 3 daughters had dowries. This is how the custom of hanging stockings at Christmas started. Saint Nicholas was known as a gift giver.

By unknown, not stated in the source [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons 674px-Nikolaus_krampus.jpg
By unknown, not stated in the source [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons 674px-Nikolaus_krampus.jpg | Source

One of the oldest stories about Saint Nicholas as a protector of children happened a long time after he had died. The people of Myra were celebrating on the eve ;of his feast day when a group of Arab pirates from Create came to Myra. The pirates took treasures from the Church of Saint Nicholas. When the pirates were leaving they took a young boy. They were going to make him a slave. The boy was named Basilio and the emir was going to make him his personal cup bearer because he did not understand the language so he did not know what the emir said to the people around him. Basilio's waited on the emir. One of his duties was to bring him wine in a beautiful cup made of gold. The year went by slowly for Basilio's parents because they had lost their only child and they missed him.

When the next Saint Nicholas feast day came Basilio's mother did not go to the festival because she was too sad. She stayed home and said prayers for Basilios. Basilios was waiting on the emir and he was suddenly whisked away. Saint Nicholas appeared and blessed the terrified Basilios. Basilio's was taken back to his home in Myra. Basilio's parents were so happy to see him. He was still holding the emir's gold cup. This was the first story about Saint Nicholas protecting children.

"День Святого Миколая  Public Domain
"День Святого Миколая Public Domain | Source

Among the many stories about Saint Nicholas and his good deeds is one about 3 students that were ;on their way to Athens to study. The students stopped at an inn. The innkeeper was a terrible man and he murdered and robbed the 3 students. He took their bodies and put them in a pickling tub. Bishop Nicholas stopped at the inn to rest on his travels. That night he had a dream about the 3 students and what had happened to them. He woke from his dream and he called the innkeeper to come to him. Bishop Nicholas prayed to God asking him to bring the 3 students back to life.

When this story is told in France it is about 3 small children. They were running around playing and got lost. An evil butcher captured them. Supposedly Saint Nicholas appeared and prayed to God asking him to return the children to life and their parents. Saint Nicholas became known as the protector of children.

There are many stories about Saint Nicholas and the sea. This story is bout his pilgrimage to the Holy Land when he was young. He wanted to walk where Jesus walked so he could experience Jesus's life better. He was going home by sea when a terrible storm came that threatened to sink the ship. He remained calm and started praying. The frightened sailors did not know what to think when the wind died down and the waves became calm and they were all safe. Saint Nicholas became known as the protector of voyagers and sailors.

There are stories of Saint Nicholas saving people from famine, saving lives of people falsely accused and several others. Within a century after he died he was made a saint. Today in the East he is considered a miracle worker. In the West, he considered a patron of children, bankers, scholars, orphans, laborers, travelers, merchants, judges, poor people maidens, students, sailors, victims of mistaken prosecution, prisoners and much more. Saint Nicholas is considered a friend and protector of everyone in trouble or in need.

By Mark Fahtrey
By Mark Fahtrey | Source

Sailors thought highly of Saint Nicholas so they carried stories of his great deeds far and wide. The people started building chapels in many seaports that were named for Saint Nicholas. He was so popular in the Middle Ages he became a patron saint of Italy, Greece, and France. He was also a patron saint of many cities in Austria, Germany, Russia, Switzerland, Belgium and the Netherlands.

After Grand Prince Vladimir was baptized he brought the stories about Saint Nicholas and devotion to his homeland. Saint Nicholas soon became a beloved saint. Saint Nicholas was so well thought of thousands ;of churches were named after him. There are 300 in Belgium, 34 in Rome, 23 in the Netherlands and over 400 in England.

By Petr Kratochvil
By Petr Kratochvil | Source

Many pilgrimages were made to Saint Nicholas's tomb in Myra. Many Christians became concerned that they would have trouble getting access to Saint Nicholas's tomb because of the wars and unrest in the area. The cities of Venice and Bari wanted to get Saint Nicholas's tomb in their city because of religious and commercial reasons.

Sailors from Bari were successful in getting Saint Nicholas's bones in the spring of 1087 and they brought them back to Bari. Bari was an important seaport on Italy's coast. They built a beautiful church over Saint Nicholas's crypt. Many faithful people com to honor Saint Nicholas. One of medieval Europe's great pilgrimages centers was Saint Nicholas was called “Saint in Bari.” Tourists and pilgrims still visit Bari's Basilica di San Nicola.

Saint Nicholas is still respected by Catholics, Orthodox and honored by Protestants. He is a model for a compassionate life.

 Gaby Kooiman [GFDL (, CC-BY-SA-3.0
Gaby Kooiman [GFDL (, CC-BY-SA-3.0 | Source

Saint Nicholas feast day, December 6th is celebrated all over Europe. The feast day celebrations keep alive the stories of his goodness and generosity. Boys would dress up as bishops in Germany and Poland and they begged for alms for the poor. Saint Nicholas would come to Belgium and the Netherlands on a steamship That came from Spain Saint Nicholas would then ride a white horse and give out his gifts. The main day for giving gifts is December 6th in most of Europe.

By Xposid
By Xposid | Source

In the Netherlands, they celebrate Saint Nicholas on the eve of Feast Day. People went around on the eve of December 5th and threw candies, chocolate initials, and small gifts through the open doors. Carrots and hay would be left by the Dutch children their shoes for Saint Nicholas's horse. The children hoped he would take the hay and carrots and leave them small gifts. It is believed that a Christmas Day focus on the Christ Child was preserved by simple gift-giving in early Advent.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • norlawrence profile imageAUTHOR

      Norma Lawrence 

      2 years ago from California

      Thanks for letting me know about mistake. Glad you enjoyed the post.

    • BlossomSB profile image

      Bronwen Scott-Branagan 

      2 years ago from Victoria, Australia

      An interesting hub. You must have spent quite a time researching the information and the great images, too. Would you be able to change the title, as I'm not sorry at all that you wrote it, but stories like these are good to read.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)