St. Nicholas of Myra
is the primary inspiration for the Christian figure of Santa Claus. He was a 4th century Christian bishop of Myra now in Turkey.
Nicholas was famous for his generous gifts to the poor, in particular presenting the three impoverished daughters of a pious Christian with dowries so that they would not have to become prostitutes. He was very religious from an early age and devoted his life entirely to Christianity.
In the Netherlands, Belgium, Austria and Germany he is still portrayed as a bearded bishop in canonical robes.
Saint Nicholas became claimed as a patron saint of many diverse groups, from children to pawnbrokers and sailors. He is also the patron saint of both Galway and Russia.
Every year as part of the celebration of Jesus Christ’s birth at the prayer meeting we remember St. Nicholas disciple of Christ.