His beard and reputation are world famous. Miracles ascribed to him are legendary. Youngsters ponder his whereabouts and travel agenda, especially in December, knowing he’s not afraid to fly and he’s never run out of money. Born to wealthy parents in Patara, Turkey, when the population of Anatolia was mostly pagan, it’s said he took a special interest in three sisters. Too poor to have dowries, they were being forced into prostitution when, suddenly, three bags of gold were thrown down their chimneys, enough bait to attract husbands. The trio did not leave thank you notes behind, for the record, but anyone with a bulging sack of benevolence is bound to be popular. Faith and hope, St. Paul wrote to the Corinthians, are outweighed: “The greatest of these is charity.” Love for others is what always drove him, this Turk named Nicholas, which means “people’s victory.” Devoted to good works, Saint Nicholas [270-310] was once Bishop of Myra (“Myrrh”), a town now called Demre. Anatolia, the territory of modern Turkey, has been the heartland of human civilization since 7,000 BC. Patara, to the west of Demre, had been visited by St. Paul and St. Luke in 55 AD on their way from Miletus to Jerusalem; perhaps from this early date, a Christian community was established at this major Roman Lycian port. Demre, a vital port on a dangerous part of the Turkish coastline, became part of the pilgrimage route from Venice and Constantinople to the Holy Land [Palestine]. This helped spread the cult of the saint, especially for seafarers who once worshiped the pagan god Poseidon. In 392, the Edict of Theodosius ruled that Christianity would be the state religion of the Empire. Large scale destruction of classical statues and temples began, and locals constructed houses of worship like the much restored church of St. Nicholas at Myra (Demre), whose foundations date back to the late 4th-5th centuries. Rocked by a religious seesaw, this church was enlarged by the Emperor Justinian in the 6th century, then destroyed in an Arab-Muslim raid in 1034, but rebuilt by Constantine IX in 1043. During the Crusades, Catholic merchants sailed to Muslim countries to acquire relics for their own parishes. In May of 1087, several well-financed Italian groups were bidding on the bones of St.Nicholas when a boatload of Barese businessmen stole the remains and rowed them back to Apulia. The pugliese, about to lose to the wealthier Venetians, knew they would have a major tourist attraction if they grabbed San Nicola. The Cathedral built to honor the former bishop in Bari, Italy [in 1087] depicts the Turkish-born saint as a very dark-skinned, Middle Eastern male. One of the most famous figures of Christendom, Nicholas is the patron saint of several countries including Russia, Greece, Germany, Austria, Belgium, Sicily, Loraine, etc. When the feast of Saint Nicholas (December 6th) was prohibited after the Protestant reformation of the 16th century, this miracle-worker retained his popularity. In 1664, when the Netherlanders relocated to New York [New Amsterdam], they carried their customs with them. Dutch youngsters awaited a visit from Sinter Klaas (Saint Nicholas) and presents he’d leave in their wooden shoes on the eve of December 5. As the appealing Dutch custom of celebrating the feast of Saint Nicholas by giving gifts to children spread throughout this nation, “Sinter Klaas” became “Santa Claus” in the United States. This philanthropist, depicted as a white-bearded old man with a long caped coat [or sometimes in red Episcopal robes], remained a moralistic figure: rewarding good children or punishing unruly ones. Washington Irving’s book — A History of New York, From the Beginning of the World to the End of the Dutch Dynasty, by Diedrich Knickerbocker — depicted Saint Nicholas as a European, Caucasian-featured figure in a broad-brimmed hat who smoked a long pipe, associating his character with the then-familiar Dutch patron saint of New Amster-am. An illustrated poem by John Pintart that portrayed a slim Saint Nicholas further distanced him from his Middle Eastern origins; no longer pictured on a donkey, he guided a sleigh drawn by one reindeer until 1821. Drawing on sources and his imagination, another New Yorker, Reverend Clement Clark Moore created the Santa that Americans know. In 1833, “A Visit From Saint Nicholas” introduced Santa Claus for the first time as a kind, plump, jolly Caucasian elf greeting readers with his twinkling eyes, rosy cheeks, and dimples. Moore’s Saint Nicholas smoked a pipe, navigated an airborne sleigh pulled by eight tiny reindeer, and made his entrance via the chimney. An enthusiastic house guest sent Moore’s poem to a local newspaper editor. Overnight, verses about a jolly old elf who piloted a reindeer-drawn sleigh began to be recited by families. After awhile, the Church urged Christians to merge this “children’s festival” with the Nativity. An Americanized Saint Nicholas, consequently, began making his housecalls during the night of December 24. December 6th, if you’re motivated to be generous, especially to children who have lost a parent, give in to it.
Nicholas’ wealthy parents, died in an epidemic while Nicholas was still young. Being a devout Christian, he followed the words of Jesus to “sell what you own and give the money to the poor.”
Nicholas used his whole inheritance to assist the needy, the sick, and the suffering. He was made the Bishop of Myra while still a young man.
The high office of Nicholas at such a young age speaks to dominant role played by Muurish black Anatolians and Africans in creating the church as we know it today.
It is a historical fact that most of the early and very famous bishops of the church, who lived and gave their lives for the church were either Muurish Africans or Muurish diaspora.
The icon of Peter the first apostle depicted as a Muurish black man in Rome
Archbishop John Chrysostom, Pope Leo the Great 400-469 AD, Pope Mithilades, Bishops of Rome, Saint Peter the Bishop of Alexandria 300 – 311 AD and innumerable Saints and Matrys were all Muurish people of African descent.
Generosity of San Niclaus
Bishop Nicholas was known throughout the land for his generosity to the those in need, his love for children, and his concern for sailors and ships.
Under the Roman Emperor Diocletian, Bishop Nicholas suffered for his faith, was exiled and imprisoned.
After his release, Nicholas attended the Council of Nicaea in AD 325, where he worked with other early fathers of the church to establish the standardized christian doctrine of today.
The passing of the real Santa Claus
He died December 6, AD 343 in Myra and was buried in his cathedral church, where a unique relic, called manna, formed in his grave.
In the picture here that follows, one sees the funeral of St Nicholas.
Funeral of Saint Nicholas
The discovery of this liquid substance, which was said to have healing powers, fostered the growth of devotion to Nicholas. The anniversary of his death became a day of celebration, St. Nicholas Day, December 6th (December 19 on the Julian Calendar).
The fake snow-flakes they call Santa Claus
Today, the western pagans descendants of Gothic and Slavic conquerors of Rome and Christianity have built up an idolatorous image of Odin, the god of the Goths and the Norsemen, and have passed it off as the real Saint Nicholas.
The real St Nicholas
Modern joke of a Saint Nicholas or Santa Claus:
This image of the Gothic idol Odin, is what is passed off around the world as Santa Claus.
But for those who have ears and eyes, Odin the pagan god of the Goths, had nothing to do with and nothing in common with the pious and devouted life of Saint Nicholas, the young, Muurish Bishop of Myra, one of the early fathers of the church.
Muurish St Nicholas
To know your history is to know thyself
Dec 26th 2010