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St. Nicholas is the patron saint of children. His generous spirit and love for youth have led the way to the popular tradition of the gift-giving Santa Claus celebrated throughout the world. Born into a wealthy family and orphaned young, St. Nicholas gave his inheritance to the poor, then dedicated his life to serving God as a priest, and later as a bishop.
The best known story of St. Nicholas is one where he secretly threw bags of gold down a chimney in order to help a poor familys daughters be able to marry rather than be sold into slavery. St. Nicholas was admired by the people of his town, and his burial site is still a popular place of pilgrimage today. St. Nicholas feast day is celebrated on December 6. He is often depicted as a bishop in art, usually surrounded by children.