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6 December - The Feast Day of Saint Nicholas

Christmas is not too far away and I have updated the high resolution images from the original Santa's home town — the Turkish city of Demre/Myra.

On the outskirts of the town is a church that is associated with Saint Nicholas—Father Christmas, a.k.a. in northern Europe as Santa Claus!

St. Nicholas was born in nearby Patara about A.D. 300 and served as the bishop of Myra later in his life.  A number of miracles are attributed to this revered bishop, including his providing a dowry to the three daughters of a local baker.  Thus he is associated with “gift giving!”  He was also the patron saint of sailors—note that Myra is very near the Mediterranean Sea.  He died about A.D. 345.

It is said that he was buried in this church, but that his relics (bones) were taken to Bari, Italy, about A.D. 1088, although other claims are made that the Venetians took them.

 

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Nazareth

Nazareth is located in the very southern portion of lower Galilee, about 16 mi. [25 km.] west of the southern tip of the Sea of Galilee.  In Nazareth there are numerous Christian sites the commemorate events associated with Mary, Joseph, and Jesus.

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