[[Image: Nicholas.jpg|thumb|right|200pxl|St Nicholas of Myra]]Our father among the [[saint]]s '''Nicholas of Myra''', [[Wonder-worker]], was the [[archbishop]] of Myra in southern Asia Minor in the fourth century. While widely honored and [[veneration|venerated]], not only in the Orthodox Church, but throughout most Christian groups, little is known historically of the life of Nicholas. He is known to have been archbishop of Myra and he may have participated in the [[First Ecumenical Council|Council of
Nicaea]] in 325. In addition to being honored as the [[patron saint]] of many countries, notably Greece and Russia, and of cities, he is the patron of many occupational groups, most notably of sea-farers.
==Life and tradition==
By tradition, Nicholas born in the province of Lycia in the southern part of Asia Minor in the city of Patara to well-to-do parents. The date of his birth is not known. Having inherited his parents' estate, he became known for his generous gifts to those in need. As a youth, he made pilgrimages to Palestine and Egypt. He was subsequently [[consecration|consecrated]] Archbishop of Myra as the fourth century began. He was imprisoned during the persecutions of [[Diocletian]] and released by [[Constantine the Great|Constantine]] after his ascension to emperor. Nicholas was noted for his defense of Orthodoxy against the [[Arianism|Arians]]. He is reputed to have been present at the Council of
Nicaea, but his name does not appear among any documents from that era. He died in Myra on [[December 6]] in a year uncertain, but between 342 and 352 . He is commemorated on December 6.
the Wonderworker.jpg|thumb|left|200pxl|St Nicholas the Wonderworker]]
Many of the details of his life that we have appeared during medieval times. St. [[Methodius I of Constantinople|Methodius]], [[Patriarch of Constantinople]], in the middle of the ninth century produced a life of Nicholas in which he noted that the life of Nicholas was unknown to most of the Christians of the time, thus indicating his composition was probably based mainly on legend. Methodius noted that Nicholas was raised well by pious and well-to-do parents and related how Nicholas contributed from his inheritance the dowry for three daughters of a citizen of Patara who had lost all his money.
In time his fame in northern Europe as a saintly [[bishop]] began changing to that of a giver of gifts to children, usually done on December 6. As immigrants from the Germanic and Nordic lands settled in the United States the image of St. Nicholas slowly changed to that of "Santa Claus" with little tie to the spirituality of Christianity .
*[http://ocafs.oca.org/FeastSaintsLife.asp?FSID=103484 St Nicholas the Wonderworker and Archbishop of Myra in Lycia] (OCA site)
*[http://goarch.org/en/chapel/saints.asp?contentid=325 Nicholas the Wonderworker, Archbishop of Myra] ([[GOARCH]])
www. geocities.com /Athens/7175/stnich-page.html Saint Nicholas the Wonderworker]
*[http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/11063b.htm Nicholas of Myra] [[Roman Catholic Church|Catholic]] Encyclopedia
Category: Saints]][[ Category: Bishops]]