Full-length icon of Saint Nicholas by Jaroslav Čermák, showing him with a halo, dressed in clerical garb, and holding a book of the scriptures in his left hand while making the hand gesture for the sign of the cross with his right.
|Defender of Orthodoxy, Wonderworker, Holy Hierarch, Bishop of Myra|
|Born||Traditionally 15 March 270
Patara, Roman Empire
|Died||Traditionally 6 December 342
Myra, Byzantine Empire
|Venerated in||All Christian denominations which venerate saints|
|Major shrine||Basilica di San Nicola, Bari, Italy|
22 May [O.S. 9 May] (translation of relics)
|Attributes||Vested as a Bishop. In Eastern Christianity, wearing an omophorion and holding a Gospel Book. Sometimes shown with Jesus Christ over one shoulder, holding a Gospel Book, and with the Theotokos over the other shoulder, holding an omophorion|
|Patronage||Children, coopers, sailors, fishermen, merchants, broadcasters, the falsely accused, repentant thieves, brewers, pharmacists, archers, pawnbrokers, Aberdeen, Galway, Russia, Greece, Hellenic Navy, Liverpool, Bari, Siggiewi, Moscow, Amsterdam, Lorraine, Royal School of Church Music and Duchy of Lorraine, students in various cities and countries around Europe|
He is the patron saint of very many groups, including thieves and murderers. So far as is known, what he did in that respect was to protect the falsely accused.
His parents were relatively well-off. Nicholas is said to have distributed his fortune among the poor. This is relatively well documented. Less documented deeds of his include saving children from drowning. He helped seamen in a storm and saved a child that was abducted.
In the Eastern Orthodox Church, Saint Nicholas of Myra is a very prominent figure. Very often, the third large icon on the Iconostasis in Orthodox churches is devoted to him. The other two are usually devoted to Jesus, and to Mary with the child.
The Cantata by Benjamin Britten
In modern times
He is the Saint behind Santa Claus. He is the patron Saint of Children, of Seafarers and merchants. The Hanseatic League chose him as their patron saint. Over 400 churches and several thousands all over the world are named after Nicholas of Myra. He is also the patron saint of both Amsterdam, capital of Netherlands and Moscow, capital of Russia.
Images for kids
Images for kids
Detail from a window in Rochester Cathedral. Saint Nicholas is shown bringing the boys back to life.
Saint Nicholas depicted in a 14th-century English book of hours
Russian Orthodox statue of Saint Nicolas, now in a corner near the church in Demre.
Saint Nicholas, the patron saint of Russian merchants. Fresco by Dionisius from the Ferapontov Monastery.
Saint Nicholas Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.