Who Was St. Nicholas?
(reposted from pastormark.tv)
The larger-than-life myths surrounding Santa Claus actually emanate from the very real person of Saint Nicholas. It is difficult to know the exact details of his life with certainty as the ancient records are sparse, but the various pieces can be put together as a mosaic of his life.
The Story of St. Nicholas
Nicholas was born in the third century in Patara, a village in what is now Turkey, into an affluent family, but his parents died tragically when he was quite young.
His parents had raised him to be a devout Christian, which led him to spend his great inheritance on helping the poor, especially children. He was known to frequently give gifts to children, sometimes even hanging socks filled with treats and gifts.
Perhaps his most famous act of kindness was helping three sisters. Because their family was too poor to pay for their wedding dowry, three young Christian women were facing a life of prostitution until Nicholas paid their dowry, thereby saving them from a horrible life of sexual slavery.