Miracle on 34th Street - SAINT NICHOLAS, GIVER OF GIFTS

The National Library of Wales currently owns a Book of Hours which contains an illumination of St. Nicholas. Scholars believe that this work was created for the De Grey family of Ruthin around1390. The National Library of Wales was gifted this work in 1951. Today no one knows the name of the artist who created this illumination. Click on it for a full-page view.


When he died on December 6 (the exact year varies depending on the account), Nicholas was buried in his church at Myra. During the ensuing years, it was damaged, destroyed, repaired and restored. When Muslims raided the town in 1034, the church was completely razed.

Not content to have the remains of the saint stay in Myra, Italians raided his tomb on April 20, 1087 and carried off some of his bones to Bari, Italy. They reportedly now rest in the Basilica of St. Nicholas in Bari.

By the Middle Ages, churches all over Europe were named after St. Nicholas. He was made a saint by the Catholic Church and his feast day celebrated on the anniversary of his death: December 6. That day eventually became a time to give gifts, especially to children.

How did this generous man, who loved and protected children, evolve from the legendary provider of doweries to the annual visitor of chimneys? His transformation takes some interesting turns, depending on the country one visits.

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Author: Carole D. Bos, J.D. 5197stories and lessons created

Original Release: Dec 01, 2006

Updated Last Revision: Jul 22, 2019

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"SAINT NICHOLAS, GIVER OF GIFTS" AwesomeStories.com. Dec 01, 2006. May 25, 2020.
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