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 and is also the basis for the Santa Claus legends and imagery which accompany Christmas celebrations in much of the world.
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 [[Nicea]], 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.
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.