The mythical man that we know as Santa Claus has not always been an overweight, elderly man wearing a red and white suit. He has also not always been the bearer of gifts to all the children in the world. At one time, the man we call Santa was Saint Nicholas. He lived from around 280AD to 343AD. He became a Bishop of the city
Myra in Asia Minor, now located in , in 300AD. Turkey
Being a follower of Jesus Christ, Saint Nicholas was a compassionate, caring, and peaceful man. Occasionally he was known to subtly give gifts or money to the poor, especially their children. He spread hope and cheer to everyone and was recognized as a saint all year round, unlike Santa Clause. Also, he avidly helped release those who were wrongly prosecuted and jailed. The story of his character spread from
Asia Minor to the rest of the world.
Physically, Santa Claus is portrayed much heavier than Saint Nicholas. Throughout history, almost every portrait of St. Nick shows a much taller and thinner man. He wore bishop robes and appears to be calm and laidback. In contrast to our modern Santa Clause, he did not deem others naughty or nice based on their actions. Forgiveness was in his nature, as a Christian.