Nicholas of Myra

Remembrance Day orthodox/Catholic: 6 December

Name means: the one born on the birthday of Christ (Latin.)

Metropolitan of Myra, miracle worker

Patron: of Russia, children, pupils, girls, virgins, women who wish to have children, childbearers and the elderly, altar servers, fire brigades, pilgrims and travellers, sailors, merchants, bankers, judges, lawyers and notaries, pharmacists, farmers, bakers, brewers, innkeepers, wine merchants, for happy marriage and recovery of stolen items


* around 283 in Patara, today ruins near Kalkan in Turkey
around 348 in Myra, today Demre in Turkey

Antike original russische Ikone aus dem 19. Jahrhundert.


According to tradition, Nicholas was ordained a priest by his uncle, Bishop Nicholas of Myra, at the age of 19 and appointed abbot in the monastery of Sion. When his parents died of the plague, Nicholas inherited their fortune and distributed it to the poor: he preserved several young women from his neighborhood in his hometown of Patara by secretly throwing money through the window – or through the fireplace into the socks hung in it – thus ensuring sufficient dowry and preventing the father from having to give his daughters up for prostitution; that is why Nicholas is considered a giver of good gifts and a friend of children. Nicholas is considered a helper in almost all difficulties. Starting points for the customs and its numerous patronages can be found in the legends. As a counterpoint to the kind Nicholas, who gives gifts to the children, he has been provided with companions in various countries since the 17th century.


Joachim Schäfer: Article Nikolaus von Myra, from the Ecumenical Dictionary of Saints –

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