St. Nikolaos of Myra
Born : AD 270 (the Ides of March) in Patara, Lycia et Pamphylia, Asia Minor (Turkey)
Died: 6 December 343 (aged 73) in Myra, Lycia
Honored: Catholicism, Eastern Orthodoxy, Oriental Orthodoxy, Anglicanism, Lutheranism
Shrine: Basilica di San Nicola, Bari, Ital
Admired for his piety and kindness, St. Nicholas became the subject of many legends. It is said that he gave away all of his inherited wealth and traveled the countryside helping the poor and sick. He was known to leave gold couns in shoes of the poor left out for his visits, and sometimes dropped a bag of gold down their chimney.
Another of the best known of the St. Nicholas stories is that he saved three poor sisters from being sold into slavery or prostitution by their father by providing them with a dowry so that they could be married. Over the course of many years, Nicholas's popularity spread and he became known as the protector of children and sailors. His feast day is celebrated on the anniversary of his death, December 6. This was traditionally considered a lucky day to make large purchases or to get married. By the Renaissance, St. Nicholas was the most popular saint in Europe