|Saint Nicholas(Nikolaos). His name meant in Greek: People's victory.|
Santa Claus is the result of the merging of nordic traditions with christian traditions and in the recent years with the Coca cola promotion. The merging ingredients were to take the name of a christian saint associated with children and the mythological figure.But who really was (Ni)C(o)laus and why did he become a Saint?
|The guy who wears the coca cola made outfit possesses the attributes perhaps of Odin or an another mythical figure and bears the name of a christian saint.|
Saint Nicolas was born in the 3rd century AD in a city called Patara in the region of Lycia in the hellenised Roman Minor Asia. His parents were christians and for many years childless. They considered Nicolaos' birth a miracle. From a little child he was already interested on anything that had to do with the christian religion.
|Lycia was a region in the south west of Minor Asia. Myra was the city where Saint Nicholas became a bishop.|
In a relatively young age he became a priest. He dedicated his life to praying ,virtue and advent. After the death of his parents he gave all his possessions to the poor.His compassion and help on anyone who needed it was one of the main activities of the saint.One of his deeds which is recorded is that he helped three girls to marry and have a proper life before being compelled by their father to work as prostitutes.
|The Byzantine church of Saint Nicholas in Demre in Turkey. Nowadays it is a popular destination for religious tourists.|
During emperor Diocletian's reign the Anti-christian sentiment was strong. Saint Nicolas was imprisoned because he preached for christianity.During Emperor Constantine's reign Saint Nicolas became again a bishop. But he was later imprisoned again for assaulting a heretic priest during a religious synod.Later he was set free again by order of the emperor Constantine himself.
|Diocletian was the last Roman emperor who persecuted Christians unsuccessfully.|
Saint Nicolas was attested to have commited many miracles. He saved his city from starvation and that's maybe the reason that the Russians consider him the patron saint of agriculture , many times he saved ships from being sunk. This has also made him today as the patron saint of all sailors for the Greeks. For the Catholics as it is aforementioned he is considered the protector of children. His bones were located in Myra of Minor Asia during the Byzantine times until they were transferred to the Italian city of Bari by the crusaders(They still remain there today).