|Holy Hierarch and Wonderworker
Archbishop of Myra in Lycia
St. Nicholas was born in the 3rd century A.D. in the town of Patara in Lycia, a Greek-speaking part
of the Roman Empire. Today this area lies on the southern coast of Turkey. He was the only son of
wealthy but pious Christian parents who died in an epidemic when Nicholas was still young. He was
raised by his uncle Nicholas, Bishop of Patara. Even as a youth, St. Nicholas dedicated his life to
serving God and used his entire inheritance to assist the poor. He was ordained a presbyter of the
Church and was imprisoned during the persecutions of the Roman Emperor Diocletian. He later was
elected Bishop of the city of Myra.
He was widely known for his generosity to the poor and as a protector of the innocent and
wronged. He is the patron saint of children. One well-known story concerns a man of Patara who
lost all his money and intended to sell his three daughters into prostitution because he could not
afford dowries for them. Wishing to help in secret and to spare the father the humiliation of
accepting charity, Nicholas, at night, threw three bags of gold through an open window
for the girls, saving them from a life of shame and degradation.
St. Nicholas had once desired a life of solitude as a monk, but heard a voice from
heaven telling him to work among the people. He was a true shepherd of his flock,
known far and wide for assisting the needy, the sick, and the suffering. He passed
from this life on December 6, 343 A.D.
St. Nicholas is loved and honored by Christians around the world. Eastern Orthodox,
Roman Catholic, Anglican, and many Protestant believers all hold him in high esteem.
His memory is also greatly respected by Moslem Turks from his home region.
|©2008-2017 St. Nicholas Uganda Children's Fund