Things you did not know about San Nicolás the ancestor of Santa Claus
1. The Greek name Nicolás (Nikolaos) where San Nicolás comes from and then Santa Clus or Santa Claus means «the winner of the town» (or victorious people)
It has equivalents in all the languages of the Christian nations, for example, Nicolás in Spanish, English and French, German Niklas, Klaus, the Dutch Niklaas, Claas, Czech and Slovak Mikuláš, Hungarian Miklós and many others.
2. St. Nicholas probably was born around 270 AD
Most likely he came to the world in Lycia, in the city of Patara (the southern coast of Asia Minor). He was the only son of a rich Christian couple. He died, as tradition says, on December 6 between 345 and 352 at the age of almost 70 years. Apparently at the time of his death, the angels appeared and angelic choirs were heard.
3. From his youth he distinguished himself by his piety and was very sensitive to human misfortune
After the death of his parents, he voluntarily shared his property with the poor. When he learned that the three daughters of a poor city dweller could not get married because his father could not afford a dowry, he gave them a surreptitious sum of money. This parable was used by Dante in «Divine Comedy».
4. The pattern of many places
The relics of Myra were taken to Bari by Italian sailors on May 9, 1087, protecting them against the Muslims who conquered the episcopal capital of San Nicolás. A memorial of this day was also recorded in the calendars as a reminder of the saint. Soon, saint. Nicolás became the patron of Bari. St. Nicholas is the patron of many places: cities, regions and countries, including Greece, Russia and Lorraine, the Swiss Diocese of Lausanne-Geneva-Freiburg similar. Above all, however, they have chosen him as their patron Hanseatic cities, including Amsterdam, Ancona, Bari, Freiburg, Meran and New York. The number of churches and altars dedicated to him alone in medieval Germany was estimated at more than four thousand.
5. Saint Nicholas is the patron of people and many professions
Saint Nicholas is the patron saint of girls who want to marry women who want a baby, newborns, seafarers, beams, stevedores, merchants, millers, shepherds, fishermen, bakers, butchers, tailors, weavers, travelers and pilgrims , the prisoners, lawyers, notaries, wine and grain merchants, owners and beggars. It was told to the Fourteen Holy Assistants
6. Around the figure of San Nicolás many legends have accumulated
The oldest test of adoration of the Bishop of Mira is the so-called «Praxis de stratelatis» – a legend about the miraculous rescue of three governors, unjustly sentenced to death by Emperor Constantine the Great (306-37).
Another very popular legend is that he recounts that Nicolás saved his prayers from the drowning of some fishermen during a violent storm. That is why he is also honored as the patron saint of sailors and fishermen.
7. The custom of giving gifts to children has its origin in the Middle Ages
Those schools whose patron saint was San Nicolás began to grant scholarships at that time. Over the years, this custom became gifts for children, and all members of the family. At least since the fifteenth century, there was a custom of building «the boats of San Nicolás», in which the saint had to put his gifts. Over time, the ships were replaced by shoes and socks, or – in Protestant countries – in Advent cards with gifts.