Feast day of St. Nicholas: December 6th
When did St. Nicholas live: in the Third Century
Biography of St. Nicholas:
St. Nicholas was born to a noble family and was elected bishop of Myra, in Lycia, because of his acts of charity and mercy. After losing his parents because of the Great Plague, he used his heritage in order to help the poor. He was imprisoned during the persecution of Diocletian and freed during the reign of Constantin. It seems like St. Nicholas worked wonders during his lifetime but also after death. He died in Myra on December 6th 343. His figure is the origin of the American Santa Claus and the German Nikolaus who brings gifts to the children.
Patronage: Saint Nicholas is the patron saint of sailors, merchants, archers, thieves, children, pawnbrokers and students in various cities and countries around Europe.
Statues and sculptures of St. Nicholas - portrayal, imagery and emblem: The statue above, skillfully caved and painted by the masters in Val Gardena, shows St. Nicholas as the bishop of Myra, with the miter, the crook, an apple and a book.