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Born: March 15, 270 in Patara, Roman Empire
Died: December 6, 343 (Age 73) in Myra, Roman Empire

Venerated: Anglican Church; Baptist Church; Catholic Church; Eastern Orthodox; Oriental Orthodox; Lutheran Church; Methodist Church; Reformed Church

Canonized: Pre-Congregation

Feast Day: December 6

Patronages: Children; Coopers; Sailors; Fishermen; Merchants; Broadcasters; The Falsely Accused; Repentant Thieves; Brewers; Pharmacists; Archers; Pawnbrokers; Hellenic Navy
PLACES: Aberdeen, Scotland; Galway, Ireland; Russia; Greece: Liverpool, United Kingdom; Bari, Italy; Siggiewi, Malta; Amsterdam, Netherlands; Lorraine, France; Duchy of Lorraine

It is the common opinion that Saint Nicholas was a native of Patara in Lycia, Asia Minor.  He became a monk in the monastery of Holy Zion near Myra.  Of this house he was made Abbot by the Archbishop, its founder.  When the See of Myra, the capital of Lycia, fell vacant, Saint Nicholas was appointed its Archbishop.  It is said that he suffered for the Faith under Diocletian, and that he was present at the Council of Nice as an opponent of Arianism.  His death occurred at Myra, in the year 342.

The characteristic virtue of Saint Nicholas appears to have been his charity for the poor.  It is also related that he was mortified and abstemious from his very infancy.  Saint Nicholas is regarded as the special patron of children, and our well-known Santa Claus is a derivative of Saint Nicholas.  The Emperor Justinian built a church in honor at Constantinople in the suburb of Blacharnae, about the year 340.  

He has always been honored with great veneration in the Latin and Green Churches.  The Russian Church seems to honor him more than any other Saint after the Apostles.

PRAYER: We call upon Your mercy, O Lord.  Through the intercession of Saint Nicholas, keep us safe amid all dangers so that we may go forward without hindrance on the road of salvation.  Amen.