Nicholas of Mira, the man who turned into a Christmas legend
Santa Claus is an image very dear to all, and has gone through the centuries gaining different nicknames or versions of his name in the official language of each country. In English speaking countries he is known as Santa Claus and in Portugal as Santa Claus. The way to imagine their clothing also gained the characteristics of each place, thus, each artist throughout history has portrayed the clothes of Santa Claus in a new way, and with the characteristics of the local culture.
What all nicknames and images have in common is that they refer to the same person, a charitable priest who is worshiped as a saint by the Catholic church throughout the world. St. Nicholas was born around 270 AD in Pátara, Asia Minor, in a rich and religious family. As an adult he became a priest in the diocese of Mira, where he lived until he died in old age, so he is also known as St. Nicholas of Mira.
In their time Christians were persecuted, imprisoned, tortured and killed, but St. Nicholas survived the persecutions and lived until the publication of the Milan edict that granted religious freedom to the people by saving the Christians who had been persecuted and killed for so long.
St. Nicholas was able to participate in the famous Council of Nicaea, which united bishops from many countries in an ecumenical council to present how Christianity was practiced in their communities and how they understood the teachings of Jesus after so many centuries of persecution having to worship him in secret and having difficulty interacting with other Christian groups frustrated by different apostles. St. Nicholas of Mira had a long life practicing charity until he left for the Celestial Homeland in AD 343, and because of the many miracles and graces he had received when people asked for his help, he was canonized and later became patron of Russia, Norway, and Greece.
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