Tuesday, December 22, 2009

St. Nicholas and Ireland

I found an interesting article about the possible burial place of the original Santa Claus we all know and love. That would be St. Nicholas, the Bishop of Lycia, who was born in the city of Myra in what is now modern day Turkey. Was the philanthropist responsible for giving aid (often gold) to the poor and sick ultimately interred at the Basilica di San Nicola in Bari, Italy, or at the Jerpoint Abbey in County Kilkenny, Ireland. One theory holds that Italian sailors moved the saint's remains to Buri when Seljuk Turks attacked the city of Myra in the eleventh century. Alternately, the Irish historian Philip Lynch believes a family of French crusaders named de Frainet rescued St. Nick's remains instead. So how did Nicholas' finally reside in Ireland? According to Lynch, though the de Frainets moved the saint to Beri, constant political upheavals required poor Nicholas' remains being shifted to France and finally to Ireland. There IS a tomb in Ireland picturing a bishop surrounded by three gold bags. Gold, after all, was a favorite gift to the poor by the generous St. Nicholas. To see the article click HERE.

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