An Episcopal Dictionary of the Church

Nicholas, Bishop of Myra

(fourth century). Very little is known about the life of Nicholas. He became Bishop of Myra on the southwest coast of Asia Minor. He may have been imprisoned for his faith in the persecution (303-311) that began under the Emperor Diocletian, and he may have attended the Council of Nicaea in 325. Nicholas is the traditional patron of seafarers and sailors. He is also known as a patron of children, based on his reputation as a bearer of gifts to children. The Dutch brought his name to New York. He is popularly known as Santa Claus. Nicholas is commemorated in the Episcopal calendar of the church year on Dec. 6.

Glossary definitions provided courtesy of Church Publishing Incorporated, New York, NY,(All Rights reserved) from “An Episcopal Dictionary of the Church, A User Friendly Reference for Episcopalians,” Don S. Armentrout and Robert Boak Slocum, editors.