In the fourth century Nicholas was the bishop of Myra (present day Turkey) in Asia Minor. He was exiled and imprisoned during the Roman Emperor Diocletian's persecution of Christians, and attended the important Council of Nicaea in 325. In the sixth century Emperor Justinian I built a basilica in his honor in Constantinople. Not many more substantiated facts are known about the man who over the centuries was transformed into Jolly Old Saint Nicholas.
From at least 1095 Nicholas has been popular. He is given credit for many miracles. Numerous legends have fostered the image of a man with a generous spirit who loved children. Russia's Vladmir I encouraged veneration of Nicholas. Dutch stories and traditions expanded Nicholas' connection with Christmas.
Nicholas died in Myra and is buried there. Many claim that an oily substance with healing powers known as Manna di Santo Nicola has exuded from his bones since his burial.
If Nicholas had taken the spiritual type test, he probably would have been a Lover. Nicholas is remembered on December 6.
Image is detail of St. Nicholas icon, compliments of St. Isaac of Syria Skete, www.skete.com.