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St Nicholas and the origin of santa

Posted by on Dec. 1, 2011 at 2:32 PM
  • 10 Replies

Who is St. Nicholas?

Saint Nicholas by Susan Seals
St. Nicholas
Artist: Susan Seals
All rights reserved
Exclusive print in our shop

The true story of Santa Claus begins with Nicholas, who was born during the third century in the village of Patara. At the time the area was Greek and is now on the southern coast of Turkey. His wealthy parents, who raised him to be a devout Christian, died in an epidemic while Nicholas was still young. Obeying Jesus' words to "sell what you own and give the money to the poor," Nicholas used his whole inheritance to assist the needy, the sick, and the suffering. He dedicated his life to serving God and was made Bishop of Myra while still a young man. Bishop Nicholas became known throughout the land for his generosity to the those in need, his love for children, and his concern for sailors and ships.

Under the Roman Emperor Diocletian, who ruthlessly persecuted Christians, Bishop Nicholas suffered for his faith, was exiled and imprisoned. The prisons were so full of bishops, priests, and deacons, there was no room for the real criminals—murderers, thieves and robbers. After his release, Nicholas attended the Council of Nicaea in AD 325. He died December 6, AD 343 in Myra and was buried in his cathedral church, where a unique relic, called manna, formed in his grave. This liquid substance, said to have healing powers, fostered the growth of devotion to Nicholas. The anniversary of his death became a day of celebration, St. Nicholas Day, December 6th (December 19 on the Julian Calendar).

Through the centuries many stories and legends have been told of St. Nicholas' life and deeds. These accounts help us understand his extraordinary character and why he is so beloved and revered as protector and helper of those in need.

Lemme see if I can get this link thing to work.

If not the url is :

http://www.stnicholascenter.org/pages/who-is-st-nicholas/

And also

http://www.stnicholascenter.org/pages/origin-of-santa/

In 1773 New York non-Dutch patriots formed the Sons of St. Nicholas, primarily as a non-British symbol to counter the English St. George societies, rather than to honor St. Nicholas. This society was similar to the Sons of St. Tammany in Philadelphia. Not exactly St. Nicholas, the children's gift-giver.

Eastern bishop with beehive and dog
Detail from broadside by Alexander Anderson, December 6, 1810
St Nicholas Center Collection

After the American Revolution, New Yorkers remembered with pride their colony's nearly-forgotten Dutch roots. John Pintard, the influential patriot and antiquarian who founded the New York Historical Society in 1804, promoted St. Nicholas as patron saint of both society and city. In January 1809, Washington Irving joined the society and on St. Nicholas Day that same year, he published the satirical fiction, Knickerbocker's History of New York, with numerous references to a jolly St. Nicholas character. This was not the saintly bishop, rather an elfin Dutch burgher with a clay pipe. These delightful flights of imagination are the source of the New Amsterdam St. Nicholas legends: that the first Dutch emigrant ship had a figurehead of St. Nicholas: that St. Nicholas Day was observed in the colony; that the first church was dedicated to him; and that St. Nicholas comes down chimneys to bring gifts. Irving's work was regarded as the "first notable work of imagination in the New World."

The New York Historical Society held its first St. Nicholas anniversary dinner on December 6, 1810. John Pintard commissioned artist Alexander Anderson to create the first American image of Nicholas for the occasion. Nicholas was shown in a gift-giving role with children's treats in stockings hanging at a fireplace. The accompanying poem ends, "Saint Nicholas, my dear good friend! To serve you ever was my end, If you will, now, me something give, I'll serve you ever while I live."

by on Dec. 1, 2011 at 2:32 PM
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Replies (1-10):
goddess99
by Michelle on Dec. 1, 2011 at 2:41 PM

interesting

aneela
by on Dec. 1, 2011 at 2:51 PM

i thought so too :-)

Quoting goddess99:

interesting


mrsnoble2004
by ♥Arlene♥ on Dec. 1, 2011 at 3:10 PM

interesting

aneela
by on Dec. 1, 2011 at 3:12 PM

it is!

Quoting mrsnoble2004:

interesting


mrsnoble2004
by ♥Arlene♥ on Dec. 1, 2011 at 3:15 PM

Hope I didn't come off as un-interested. To elaborate I find it interesting that in different cultures Santa Claus doesn't seem to have the same origin. You would think being based on a real person the answers would be more consistant.

Quoting aneela:

it is!

Quoting mrsnoble2004:

interesting



delanna6two
by Platinum Member on Dec. 1, 2011 at 3:19 PM

Thanks for the holiday info:)

aneela
by on Dec. 1, 2011 at 3:42 PM

not at all...and it wouldnt bother me no matter the comment...i found some links and thought it cool to share with anyone who is interested :-)

its good for people to ask questions, do research and not just buy wholesale what anyone says or actually lol even stuff online...but its good to share thoughts...thanks for coming back and commenting :-)

Quoting mrsnoble2004:

Hope I didn't come off as un-interested. To elaborate I find it interesting that in different cultures Santa Claus doesn't seem to have the same origin. You would think being based on a real person the answers would be more consistant.

Quoting aneela:

it is!

Quoting mrsnoble2004:

interesting



aneela
by on Dec. 1, 2011 at 3:42 PM

welcome

Quoting delanna6two:

Thanks for the holiday info:)


splatz
by Sarah on Dec. 1, 2011 at 4:26 PM
We are trying to decide if we will celebrate this year or not. SO grew up in a very Catholic home and I didn't. Its fun learning new things and blending our traditions.
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mom2gr8tgirls
by on Dec. 1, 2011 at 8:01 PM
So wait. He's not an overgrown elf that lives at the North Pole with elves who manufacture toys??? Thanks for ruining my childhood. Lmao!
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