Saturday, 22 December 2018

Who was Saint Nicholas?

Saint Nicholas is best known for being the inspiration behind the legend of Santa Claus due to his habit of secretly giving gifts, but who was he and what is his importance in Church history? It is easy to dismiss many of the early church figures as Roman Catholic, due to the appendage of 'Saint' to their name by Rome, and also due to the style of illustrations which have been left to depict them. In many cases this view is inaccurate, especially when dealing with the earliest centuries of the Church, and so it is in the case of Nicholas. Born in 270 AD he was appointed bishop of Myra in what is modern day Turkey. Many legends have grown up around him, most of them only appearing centuries after his death and being without historical foundation, however his most significant contribution to the church was at the Council of Nicaea.