St Nicholas was born in the third century in Lycia (which is now Turkey). He was born into a wealthy family and was raised to be a very devout Christian. His parents died when he was very young. He sold his whole inheritence to assist the poor. He dedicated his whole life to serving God and was made Bishop of Myra while still a young man. He became known for helping those in need, his love for children, and his concern for sailors and ships.
He was thrown into prison under the Roman Emperor Diocletian for being a Christian. After his release he attended the Council of Nicaea in 325 AD. He died Dec. 6, 343 AD and was buried in his church, where a relic, a unique oil, said to have healing powers, fostered the growth of devotion to him.
Through the centuries, many stories have been told of his life and deeds. I'll just mention one.
It is the story about how stockings got started. There was a poor man with three daughters. Each in turn wanted to get married, but didn't have the money. If they didn't come up with the money, slavery would be awaiting them. In that day and age, the father had to come up with the dowry money for his daughters to be married, but he simply didn't have it. Nicholas, upon finding out that he didn't have the money, threw dowry money through the family's window. It is said that the money landed in their socks hanging by the fireplace. So that is how stockings got started.
If you'd like to hear more about what St. Nicholas did, and some miracles done by him (of course through the power of Jesus Christ), please click on the article below.
game: Santa Switch
Gospel reading: Luke 1:26-38