Catholic Answers

Search Articles


Search Scans
Scans by volume
Random Article
Login - advanced access


1,001 Saints
List of Popes
Art Gallery
Map Room


Church Hierarchy
Church History - to 1517 A.D.
Hagiography - saints
Homiletics - sermons
Mariology - on Mary
Religious Orders
Sacred Scripture

Front Matter — Vol I

Title Page
Copyright & Imprimatur
To the Knights of Columbus
Tables of Abbreviations

Site Status

Updated:  Aug 12, 2013
prev: Nicholas of Lyra Nicholas of Lyra Nicholas of Osimo next: Nicholas of Osimo

Nicholas of Myra, Saint

Bishop of concordances. Hereupon he declares his intention Myra in Lycia. d. December 6, 345 or 352

High Resolution Scan ———————————

Login or register to access high resolution scans and other advanced features.

Registration is Free!

Errata* for Nicholas of Myra, Saint:

Login or register to access the errata and other advanced features.

Registration is Free!

* Published by Encyclopedia Press, 1913.

Nicholas of Myra (or OF BARI), Saint, Bishop of Myra in Lycia. d. December 6, 345 or 352. Though he is one of the most popular saints in the Greek as well as the Latin Church, there is scarcely anything historically certain about him except that he was Bishop of Myra in the fourth century. Some of the main points in his legend are as follows: He was born at Parara, a city of Lycia in Asia Minor; in his youth he made a pilgrimage to Egypt and Palestine; shortly after his return he became Bishop of Myra; cast into prison during the persecution of Diocletian, he was released after the accession of Constantine, and was present at the Council of Nicaea. In 1087 Italian merchants stole his body at Myra, bringing it to Bari in Italy.

The numerous miracles St. Nicholas is said to have wrought, both before and after his death, are out-growths of a long tradition. There is reason to doubt his presence at Nicaea, since his name is not mentioned in any of the old lists of bishops that attended this council. His cult in the Greek Church is old and especially popular in Russia. As early as the sixth century Emperor Justinian I built a church in his honor at Constantinople, and his name occurs in the liturgy ascribed to St. Chrysostom. In Italy his cult seems to have begun with the translation of his relics to Bari, but in Germany it began already under Otto II, probably because his wife Theophano was a Grecian. Bishop Reginald of Eichstadt (d. 991) is known to have written a metric, "Vita S. Nicholai". The course of centuries has not lessened his popularity. The following places honor him as patron: Greece, Russia, the Kingdom of Naples, Sicily, Lorraine, the Diocese of Liege; many cities in Italy, Germany, Austria, and Belgium; Campen in the Netherlands; Corfu in Greece; Freiburg in Switzerland; and Moscow in Russia. He is patron of mariners, merchants, bakers, travelers, children etc. His representations in art are as various as his alleged miracles. In Germany, Switzerland, and the Netherlands they have the custom of making him the secret purveyor of gifts to children on December 6, the day on which the Church celebrates his feast; in the United States and some other countries St. Nicholas has become identified with the popular Santa Claus who distributes gifts to children on Christmas Eve. His relics are still preserved in the church of San Nicola in Bari; up to the present day an oily substance, known as Manna di S. Nicola, which is highly valued for its medicinal powers, is said to flow from them.


discuss this article | send to a friend

Discussion on 'Nicholas of Myra, Saint'

prev: Nicholas of Lyra Nicholas of Lyra Nicholas of Osimo next: Nicholas of Osimo

Report translation problem

*Description: Copy and paste the phrase with the problem or describe how the trascription can be fixed.
  * denotes required field


Art Gallery
Art Gallery

Catholic Q & A

Popular Subjects
Top 20 Questions

Ask A Faith Question

Quotable Catholics RSS

"Do as you wish; for we are Christians, and we do not sacrifice to idols."
-- Six companions of Justin Martyr, martyrs all; speaking to the Prefect Rusticus after he threatened them with "torture without mercy" unless they sacrificed to the Roman "gods;" from the trial transcript by Tatian (A.D. 165).


Latest OCE Discussion

Your usage constitutes agreement with User License :: Permissions :: Copyright © 2015, Catholic Answers.
Site last updated Aug 12, 2013