22 Facts About St Nicholas

1. Saint St Nicholas is the patron saint of sailors, merchants, archers, repentant thieves, children, brewers, pawnbrokers, unmarried people, and students in various cities and countries around Europe.

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2. The earliest mentions of Saint St Nicholas indicate that, by the sixth century, his cult was already well-established.

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3. The father immediately arranged a marriage for his first daughter, and after her wedding, St Nicholas threw a second bag of gold through the same window late at night.

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4. The father fell on his knees, thanking him, and St Nicholas ordered him not to tell anyone about the gifts.

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5. St Nicholas went to the church to pray and was therefore proclaimed the new bishop.

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6. One of the earliest attested stories of Saint St Nicholas is one in which he saves three innocent men from execution.

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7. Saint St Nicholas appeared to Constantine and Ablabius in dreams, informing Constantine of the truth and frightening Ablabius into releasing the generals, for fear of Hell.

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8. St Nicholas confronted the generals for allowing their soldiers to misbehave and the generals brought an end to the looting.

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9. In 325, St Nicholas is said to have attended the First Council of Nicaea, where he is said to have been a staunch opponent of Arianism and devoted supporter of Trinitarianism, and one of the bishops who signed the Nicene Creed.

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10. St Nicholas tells them he is imprisoned "for loving you" and they free him from his chains and restore his vestments.

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11. St Nicholas, visiting the region to care for the hungry, saw through the butcher's lies and resurrected the pickled children by making the Sign of the Cross.

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12. St Nicholas invited the sailors to unload a part of the wheat to help in the time of need.

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13. Only when St Nicholas promised them that they would not suffer any loss for their consideration, the sailors agreed.

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14. St Nicholas was the only major saint associated with that part of Turkey.

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15. An Irish tradition states that the relics of Saint St Nicholas are reputed to have been stolen from Myra by local Norman crusading knights in the twelfth century and buried near Thomastown, County Kilkenny, where a stone slab marks the site locally believed to be his grave.

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16. Whereas the devotional importance of relics and the economics associated with pilgrimages caused the remains of most saints to be divided up and spread over numerous churches in several countries, Saint St Nicholas is unusual in that most of his bones have been preserved in one spot: his grave crypt in Bari.

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17. St Nicholas suffered from severe chronic arthritis in his spine and pelvis.

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18. St Nicholas is mentioned in the Liturgy of Preparation during the Divine Liturgy and during the All-Night Vigil.

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19. Today, Saint St Nicholas is still celebrated as a great gift-giver in several Western European and Central European countries.

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20. St Nicholas is depicted as an Orthodox bishop, wearing the omophorion and holding a Gospel Book.

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21. Iconographically, St Nicholas is depicted as an elderly man with a short, full, white, fluffy beard and balding head.

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22. In Roman Catholic iconography, Saint St Nicholas is depicted as a bishop, wearing the insignia of this dignity: a bishop's vestments, a mitre and a crozier.

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