Saturday, December 24, 2016

St. Nicholas to Santa Claus: The birth of an icon

From New Mexico-

Here’s how the legend of St. Nicholas came to become the icon we know today.

The character of Santa Claus has come a long way over the years. We know him today as a jolly, magical elf who brings goodies and toys for good girls and boys across the world. But that’s only the 21st-century version of Santa here in the U.S.

Like Santa Claus, St. Nicholas himself is a bit of a mythical figure. Many of the stories we know about him may be lore. There are shockingly few historical documents to attest to much of St. Nicholas’ tenure as the Bishop of Myra. Almost everything we know about St. Nicholas lives on in legend.

St. Nicholas reportedly was born around 280 A.D. in the city of Patara, near Myra in what is now modern-day Turkey. As the legend goes, St. Nicholas was born into a very wealthy family. His parents died when he was young and he inherited a vast amount of wealth, which he gave away to those in need. He was lauded for his charity and selflessness and was named the Bishop of Myra.

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