Saint Nicholas was born in Lycia in Asia Minor.
He is one of the most popular saints of the Church, even though there is scarcely anything historically certain about him except that he was Bishop of Myra in the fourth century.
As a young man he is said to have made a pilgrimmage to Palestine and Egypt in order to study in the school of the Desert Fathers. On returning some years later he was almost immediately ordained Bishop of Myra.
He was imprisoned during the Diocletian persecution and only released when Constantine the Great came to power and made Christianity the official religion of the Roman Empire.
He is also called Nicholas of Bari because his relics were taken to Bari by Italian merchants in 1087.
He is associated with Chirstmas because of the tradition that he had the custom of giving secret gifts to children, and is thus associated with Santa Claus in some countries.
He died on December 6th in 346.