The Holy Nikolaus

Nikolaus of Myra was born in Patara between 270 and 286 after Christ. He died on 6. December. The year of his death is not known. The Holy Nikolaus was bishop of Myra, today a small town approx. 100 kilometers west of Antalya, Turkey.

Records indicate that at the age of 19 he was inaugurated priest by his uncle who was bishop of Myra before him; later he was abbot of the monastery of Sion and in the end bishop of Myra. During the persecution of the Christians in the year 310 captivated and tortured. Later he gave hiscomplete inheritance to the poor. There are quite a few legends around the Holy Nikolaus, i.e. he participated in the council of Nicäa and there he slapped the face of his antagonist Arius. For that he was imprisoned and later on freed again.

Another story tells us, that he threw a gold nugget into the window of an old despaired man with three daughters and thus saved them. In remembrance of this story he brings presents for the children.

Another incident is supposed to be the rescue of sailors in distress. The Holy Nikolaus is said to suddenly appear on the ship and set the sails accordingly.

Well known is the legend that during a famine he asked for a share from a ship load of grain for the starving of the area. The load, however, did not shrink, so that the ship owner did not notice anything.

Within the Orthodox churches the Holy was already adored in the 6th century. Four centuries later there was also a cult about the Holy Nikolaus in the occident and Germany. From the 11th century on he was well-known with Nikolaus pilgrimages and as global patronage - helper in need .