St. Mary's Anglican Catholic Church

Diocese of the Midwest

Though the connection is now very remote, the fictional character Santa Claus has its roots in the life of a saint of Christ’s Church celebrated on December 6th. Nicholas, the Bishop of Myra in Asia Minor (modern Turkey) in the 4th century, is said to have cast three bags of gold into window of a poor family’s house with three young daughters to provide them dowries on the night before they came of marriageable age, that they might be able to marry and avoid a life of prostitution (marriage, prostitution, or starvation being only choices available to poor women in that society). According to one variant of the legend, after two of his daughters received their bags of gold, the father decided to hide near the window in order to discover the identity of the benefactor. Holy or Saint Nicholas, seeking the glory for God alone, decided to cast the third bag of gold down the chimney instead; and the gift fell into one of the stockings of third daughter, which were hanging over the fireplace to dry.