Commemorated on December 6th
St Nicholas the Wonderworker
Nicholas was the bishop of the Christian Church in the Asia Minor city of Myra (now Demre, Turkey) in the fourth century AD. He is beloved throughout the Orthodox Christian world for his kindness and help, both during his life and afterward. He is called "Wonderworker" (or "Miraculous" or "Miracle-Worker", Greek "thavmatourgos") for the miracles which he performed and which he still performs, by God's grace. Many accounts ofSaint Nicholas are available, both elsewhere on the World-Wide Web and at this site. In the Protestant West, where the invocation of saints was suppressed, Saint Nicholas became popularly known as Santa Claus.
In accordance with early Christian tradition, saints are remembered in the Orthodox Church on the date of their passing from this life into the next. Saint Nicholas is thus remembered on December 6. Orthodox Christianity maintains that even though people are dead according to this life, that they are alive in the spiritual realm, and continue to pray for us now. Our "prayers to the saints" are actually requests that they pray for us, much as we ask believers who are still alive in the flesh to pray for us.
The remains of St. Nicholas now repose principally in Bari, Italy, having been transported there in 1087 A.D. after Myra fell to Islamic invaders. A fragrant liquid called "myrrh" still exudes from the relics. Miracles are performed even today through the intercessions of St. Nicholas. Turkey also claims to possess bones of Saint Nicholas.
The sites referenced here contain much more information about Saint Nicholas the Wonderworker. See below for introductory information on the sites, or go directly to the list of pages.