- Birth: March 15, 270 AD
- Location: Patara, Turkey (modern-day Gelemis, Turkey)
- Death: December 6, 343 AD
- Beatification: N/A (Before the Congregation for the Causes of Saints)
- Canonized: N/A (Before the Congregation for the Causes of Saints)
- Feast Day: December 6
- Patron Saint of: children, sailors, unmarried women, and pawnbrokers
St. Nicholas of Myra, affectionately known as St. Nick, is believed to have been born in 270 AD in Asia Minor. Little is known of his life besides the fact that he was orphaned at a young age, and he was left an inheritance from his wealthy parents.
He is known for generously donating his inheritance to assist the needy, sick, and suffering to model Christ’s words: “give your money to the poor and your treasure will be transferred into heaven. (Matthew 19:21-24)” As a young man, he was also ordained as bishop shortly thereafter.
Legends and Legacy
One of the more common legends surrounding St. Nicholas involves a poor man with three daughters who were in danger of being sold into prostitution because their father could not afford dowries for them to be married. It is said that on three separate occasions, St. Nicholas secretly threw bags of gold into their home, which landed by their shoes drying by the fire.
It’s also believed that St. Nicholas defended the Church against the Arian heresy at the Council of Nicaea.
His association with Santa Claus developed from Dutch-American legend, Sinterklaas, and has inspired the practice of giving gifts to children. St. Nicholas serves as a great model of charity and generosity.
St. Nicholas Prayers
Saint Nicholas was known for his generosity and selflessness. For an increase in the virtue of generosity, here is a prayer you can say:
O good Saint Nicholas, you who are the joy of the children, put in my heart the spirit of childhood, of which the Gospel speaks, and teach me to seed happiness around me. You, whose feast prepares us for Christmas, open my faith to the mystery of God made man.
You, good bishop and shepherd, help me to find my place in the Church and inspire the Church to be faithful to the gospel.
O good Saint Nicholas, patron of children, sailors, and the helpless, watch over those who pray to Jesus, your Lord and theirs, as well as over those who humble themselves before you. Bring us all in reverence to the Holy Child of Bethlehem, where true joy and peace are found.
Another prayer to prepare for Christ during the season of Advent is:
Good St Nicholas,
Help us prepare for the miracle of the coming of Jesus.
Help us not to be blind to the gifts of getting ready.
Help us be sincere in the greetings we send and receive, with love and prayer.
Kind St. Nicholas, protect us from shoppers’ fatigue, stress, overspending, yet help us to be kind and generous of heart to all, especially those who are alone, financially poor and fearful.
May our celebration of your feast lead others to see the true meaning of giving and receiving and to guide all people to
the greatest of all gifts, even Jesus Christ, prince of peace and child of Mary, Our Lord and only savior.
St. Nicholas, pray for us!
To learn to pray the novena to Saint Nicholas, click here.
St. Nicholas of Myra Quotes
- “The giver of every good and perfect gift has called upon us to mimic Gods giving, by grace, through faith, and this is not of ourselves.”
- “Children, I beseech you to correct your hearts and thoughts, so that you may be pleasing to God. Consider that although we may reckon ourselves to be righteous and frequently succeed in deceiving men, we can conceal nothing from God. Let us therefore strive to preserve the holiness of our souls and to guard the purity of our bodies with all fervor. Ye are the temple of God, says the divine Apostle Paul; If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy.”
- St. Nicholas Center – Holland, Mich.
- Saint Nicholas of Myra Catholic Church – Dighton, Mass.
- St. Nicholas Melkite Greek Catholic Church – Delray Beach, Fla.
- Saint Nicholas of Myra Byzantine Catholic Church – Orlando, Fla.
- St. Nicholas Catholic Church – Laguna Woods, Calif.