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Saturday, December 06, 2008

The History Behind Saint Nick

American Minute from William J. Federer

Greek Orthodox history tells of Nicholas being born to a wealthy, elderly couple in what is now Turkey in the year 280 AD.

When his parents died, he generously gave to the poor. Upon hearing that a merchant went bankrupt and that creditors were planning on taking the merchant's daughters, Nicholas threw some money in the window at night to provide a dowry for the daughters to get married, thus saving them from a life of forced prostitution.

When the father discovered who gave the money, Nicholas made him promise not to tell, thus inspiring the tradition of secret gift-giving on the anniversary of Nicholas' death, which was DECEMBER 6, 343 AD.

Nicholas became the Bishop of Myra, was imprisoned during Emperor Diocletian's persecution of Christians, and was freed by Constantine.

He attended the Council of Nicaea, helped write the Nicene Creed and preached against the worship of the fertility goddess "Diana" at Ephesus, resulting in her temple being torn down.

In the 12th century, when Muslims Seljuks invaders killed Christians and turned churches into mosques, the bones of Nicholas were shipped to Italy, thus introducing the traditions of Saint Nicholas to Western Europe and eventually America.

William J. Federer is a nationally recognized author, speaker, and president of Amerisearch, Inc, which is dedicated to researching our American heritage. The American Minute radio feature looks back at events in American history on the dates they occurred, is broadcast daily across the country and read by thousand on the internet.


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