As we discussed yesterday, the image of Saint Nicholas that’s shown in American culture is a falsehood. The real Saint Nicholas was born in the third century in the village of Patara, which is now considered the southern coast of turkey.
His parents were wealthy black Anatolians of the ancient Roman Empire. After his parents died from an epidemic, a young Saint Nicholas would use his inheritance to help those who were in need. The fact that Saint Nicholas was able to become bishop of Myra at such a young age spoke to the dominant role played by Moorish Anatolians of the time.
Bishop Nicholas was known throughout the land for his generosity for those in need and his love for children. Under the Roman Emperor Diocletian, Bishop Nicholas was exiled and imprisoned because of his faith. He would eventually die on December 6th, AD 343. The discovery of this liquid substance, which was said to have healing powers fostered the growth of devotion to Nicholas.
The anniversary of his death became a day of celebration. Every year St. Nicholas Day is December 6th. So as we shower our children with gifts and love during this holiday season, let’s not forget to equip them a clear perspective on what this holiday really means.