Saint Nicholas (Sinterklaas) AKA Santa Claus was a real person. He lived in the early part of the 4-century. His habit of secret gift-giving led to his being known in modern times as Santa Claus.
Below are some known facts about the man we know today as Santa Claus. What is not written, but according to some just as true, is that Saint Nicholas had a son and a daughter. For centuries the knowledge, abilities and magical relics have been passed down from parent to child. Like many families, each generation tried to surpass the accomplishments of the previous one. As people often do when they’re telling a story, they made little changes in their family’s history. They added tiny details to the facts. What started out as something ordinary evolved into something extraordinary. What began as a simple act of secretly dropping coins down chimneys and leaving trinkets in shoes became a world-wide gift-giving extravaganza, and yes, they still do it all in one night.
Born: March 15, 270
Location: Asia Minor (Modern Day Turkey)
Died: December 6, 343 – Age 73
Location: Myra, Turkey (Modern Day Demre)
The tomb of Saint Nikolas became a very popular pilgrimage site. As a result of ongoing battles between the Byzantine Empire and Seljuk Turks the city was temporarily lost to the Turks in August, 1071. Many feared the access to the tomb would be lost. It was said the remains in the Myra tomb exuded a watery liquid that smelled like rose water. The liquid is called manna. Manna is believed to have miraculous powers. The Italian cities of Venice and Bari vied for the remains. In May of 1087 sailors from Bari broke into the Myra tomb and stole the remains inside and brought them to Bari. Due to the fear of getting caught, they only took about half of the bones. The bones that remained in the tomb were taken by Venetian sailors and brought to Venice (Modern day science confirms the half in Venice and half in Bari do, in fact, belong to the same person).
Today (2016), the relics continue to secrete the rose water. A vial of rose-water is collected each year.