Saint Nicholas (Greek: Ἅγιος Νικόλαος, Hagios Nikólaos, Latin: Sanctus Nicolaus, Bulgarian: Св. Николай); (15 March 270 – 6 December 343), also called Nikolaos of Myra, was a historic 4th-centurysaint and Greek Bishop of Myra (Demre, part of modern-day Turkey) in Lycia. Because of the manymiracles attributed to his intercession, he is also known as Nikolaos the Wonderworker (Νικόλαος ὁ Θαυματουργός, Nikolaos ho Thaumaturgos). He had a reputation for secret gift-giving, such as putting coins in the shoes of those who left them out for him, and thus became the model for Santa Claus, whose modern name comes from the Dutch Sinterklaas, itself from a series of elisions and corruptions of thetransliteration of “Saint Nikolaos”. His reputation evolved among the faithful, as was common for early Christian saints. In 1087, part of the relics (about half of the bones) were furtively translated to Bari, in southeastern Italy; for this reason, he is also known as Nikolaos of Bari. The remaining bones were taken toVenice in 1100. His feast day is the 6th of December.
The historical Saint Nicholas is commemorated and revered among Anglican, Catholic, Lutheran, andOrthodox Christians. In addition, some Baptist, Methodist, Presbyterian, and Reformed churches have been named in honor of Saint Nicholas. Saint Nicholas is the patron saint of sailors, merchants,archers, thieves, children, pawnbrokers and students in various cities and countries around Europe. He was also a patron of the Varangian Guard of the Byzantine emperors, who protected his relics in Bari.