One of the most well known figures in Christianity history is that by the Roman Catholic Church, Saint Nicholas of Myra. His fame has grown throughout the centuries through stories and legends of his life and deeds. Through these accounts (comma: prepositional phrase) we come to the understanding of why he is so loved and believed as the true protector and helper of those less fortunate or in need (St. Nicholas Center, n.d.). Saint Nicholas was born around the third century A.D. in Patana, which is a city in the ancient district of Lycia in southern Asia Minor (Encyclopedia of World Biography, 2004). Though, his parents were well to do, they reared him with a more humble and holy lifestyle. His parents died during an epidemic when he was at a young age.
Nicholas did not squander away his parent’s inheritance. Instead, he used his entire inheritance to help the needy, the sick, and suffering. (new paragraph/new thought) One of the stories told is that of a poor man who had three daughters. During this period in time the father had to offer prospective suitors a dowry. Naturally, the larger the dowry the better off a young woman could have a chance in a finer suitor. So with this in mind, if a woman did not have a dowry she would unlikely marry and their destiny would be to be sold into slavery. One day bags of gold appeared at the home of this Christian family (on separate occasions) to which provided each of the daughter’s a much needed dowry (The Catholic Encyclopedia, n.d.). Nicholas dedicated his life to God and serving others and because of this he was made a Bishop of Myra. Bishop Nicholas’ fame grew and spread throughout the globe for his generosity to those less fortunate, love for children, and for his concern for sailors and ships, and even more. But, with this fame and notoriety through his followers, came a price.
During the reign of the Roman Emperor, Diocletian, who was known for persecuting Christians, he was exiled and imprisoned. He remained in prison until he was finally released by the succession of Constantine (The Catholic Encyclopedia, n.d.). After his release, it is told that he attended the Council of Nicaea, to aid in the deity of Jesus Christ. Soon after this quest (comma. What was his quest? It is not clearly stated) Bishop Nicholas died on December 06, 343 and he was announced as a Saint for all of his efforts. He was buried in the church at Myra (this is where he served as a Bishop).
During the eleventh century, word had spread as far as Italy of his deeds and Christian service (this was due to merchants and sailors who traveled a far). His bones were taken from his original grave site and brought to Bari (southern Italy). A Benedictine abbot, Elia, constructed a cathedral to house Nicholas’ remains. The Pope Urban II dedicated the Basilica San Nicola after they were entombed. It is told in legends that his bones turned into liquid (known as Manna di S. Nicola). It is said that the container holding this liquid is today still carried in a festival parade honoring him in Bari on the day of his death December 06. The legend has it is highly valued for its medicinal powers (The Catholic Encyclopedia, n.d.). Even in death (comma) the legend of Saint Nicholas lives on with famous stories and accounts of miracles and visions of mysterious miracles happening. One such story is that of three children at play and wanders off and get lost.
An evil butcher captures them and Saint Nicholas appears and appeals to God for their safe return to their families (St. Nicholas Center, n.d.). Another account is that of sailors where a mighty storm threatened to ravage their ship and Saint Nicholas calmly prayed. The sailors state that the wind and waves suddenly calmed and spared their lives (St. Nicholas Center, n.d.). He remains a popular saint in Catholic and Orthodox Christians today with some over two thousand churches named after him (The Catholic Encyclopedia, n.d.).
With his example of generosity to those in need, Saint Nicholas continues to this day as a mortar (your word?) for compassion in life. Through all the legends, myths, and folklore of Saint Nicholas, the celebration of his anniversary of his death has become the biggest gift giving celebrated holidays in popular history and has developed into current culture as, “Santa Claus”. This event now in modern time is celebrated on December twenty-fifth as the same time of Christ’s birth.
Encyclopedia of World Biography. (2004). Saint Nicholas. Retrieved from http://www.encyclopedia.com/doc/1G2-3404707651.html St. Nicholas Center. (n.d.). Who is St. Nicholas? Retrieved from http://www.stnicholascenter.org/pages/who-is-st-nicholas/ The Catholic Encyclopedia. (n.d.). St. Nicholas of Myra. Retrieved from http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/11063b.htm
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