Who is Santa Claus..where did he come from?

St. Nikolaus was born in Asia Minor (Greek Anatolia) in the year 270. He was the bishop of Myra, a poor and run-down diocese. When his wealthy parents died, he gave his wealth to the poor and devoted himself to the conversion of sinners.

Once he heard that a man who had become very poor intended to abandon his three daughters to prostitution because he could not afford a dowry for them to be married. On three occasions bishop Nikolaus threw a bag of coins through the window into the room of the sleeping father. His daughters soon were married.

This story and his many other works of charity led to the tradition of giving presents on Niklaus’ feast day and at Christmas in his name. The name Santa Claus, in fact, evolved from his name.

In 325, he was one of many bishops to answer the request of Constantine and appear at the First Council of Nicaea. There, Nikolaus was a staunch anti-Arian and defender of the Orthodox Christian position, and was one of the bishops who signed the Nicene Creed. Tradition has it that he became so angry with the heretic Arius during the Council of Nicea that he punched him in the face.

Niklaus died at Myra in 350. His popularity, already great, increased when his relics were brought to Bari, Italy, in 1087. Both the Eastern and Western churches honor him.

St. Niklaus is the patron saint of Russia, Greece, Apulia, Sicily, and Lorraine. He is regarded as the special patron of children. His Feast is December 6.

Thanx for the heads up on St. Nicholas,
SAVINGRACEit’s an interesting read.

Hi! :slight_smile: This is great. I didn’t know any of this. If you happen to know what it was that St. Niklaus and Arius were arguing about in particular at the Council of Nicea could you let us know please?

"In AD 325 Emperor Constantine convened the Council of Nicaea, the very first ecumenical council. More than 300 bishops came from all over the Christian world to debate the nature of the Holy Trinity. It was one of the early church’s most intense theological questions. Arius, from Egypt, was teaching that Jesus the Son was not equal to God the Father. Arius forcefully argued his position at length. The bishops listened respectfully.

As Arius vigorously continued, Nicholas became more and more agitated. Finally, he could no longer bear what he believed was essential being attacked. The outraged Nicholas got up, crossed the room, and slapped Arius across the face! The bishops were shocked. It was unbelievable that a bishop would lose control and be so hotheaded in such a solemn assembly. They brought Nicholas to Constantine. Constantine said even though it was illegal for anyone to strike another in his presence, in this case, the bishops themselves must determine the punishment.

The bishops stripped Nicholas of his bishop’s garments, chained him, and threw him into jail. That would keep Nicholas away from the meeting. When the Council ended a final decision would be made about his future.

Nicholas was ashamed and prayed for forgiveness, though he did not waver in his belief. During the night, Jesus and Mary his Mother, appeared,* asking, “Why are you in jail?” “Because of my love for you,” Nicholas replied. Jesus then gave the Book of the Gospels to Nicholas. Mary gave him an omophorion, so Nicholas would again be dressed as a bishop. Now at peace, Nicholas studied the Scriptures for the rest of the night.

When the jailer came in the morning, he found the chains loose on the floor and Nicholas dressed in bishop’s robes, quietly reading the Scriptures. When Constantine was told of this, the emperor asked that Nicholas be freed. Nicholas was then fully reinstated as the Bishop of Myra.

The Council of Nicaea agreed with Nicholas’ views, deciding the question against Arius. The work of the Council produced the Nicene Creed which to this day many Christians repeat weekly when they stand to say what they believe."


What a really lovely story, and miracle (even if it does involve prison and so on, too)! Thank you for this thread :thumbsup:

Beautiful account. Thank you. :slight_smile:

That’s the correct origin of the historical St. Nikolaus, however, as I’m sure many know, the modern “Santa Claus” is a sort of amalgamation of not only the historical St. Nikolaus but also the various (pre-Christian) folk traditions in a given land.

It seems just about every European country has their own particular version! Most, however, leave out his traveling companion, also known by various names: Krampus and Svaarte Piet (“Black Pete”) are two that I know.

What a great read. Thanks for posting this.

Today Roman-Catholic omophorion are so small that the jailer would not even notice that st Nicolas had one on him in the jail. :stuck_out_tongue:

Vas…can you say one good thing about our Church? Just one??? A tiny one???

St. Athanaeus was put out about 4 times for protesting Arianism, the story I heard.

Irrelevant comment.

I notice most of your posts on here attack the CC. If that is your sole reason for being on this forum, perhaps you should consider your options.

Try and practice some charity.

Peace be upon you. :signofcross:

No I didn’t know. Thank you for this information.

What’s the point in that totally off topic attack?

I like Gregorian Chanting, it was invented by the Pope of Rome Gregory the Great (604+), who saw true beauty while serving as deacon in his youth in Constantinople, so he had inspiration from the East again lol :stuck_out_tongue:

But you guys gave up on that thing too.


Few days ago i saw some weird action, forgot where, a guy dressed as western rite bishop was pretending to be Santa Claus and was giving presents to the little kids, to educate them that Santa Claus was a bishop and not magical grandpa from the North Poll. Then i realized st Nicolas had Eastern robes, then i realized how small omophorions in the Latin Church today are, they look really fake, i think you should remove those and bring back the old ones, they look better.

Gregorian Chanting is still practiced in the Catholic Church.


Not really much one can say to this sort of stuff. Might it not be better to focus on the fact that at least the kids were learning about the real St. Nicholas. I noticed you say ‘dressed as a bishop’, was this an actual bishop or not?

But very hard to find. It’s hard to implement in parishes because it requires training.

I was responding to Valjen who said we got rid of it. We haven’t. It is still practiced. Just because it isn’t at every parish doesn’t mean it is no longer practiced.

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