Nicholas was born in Asia Minor (Greek Anatolia) in the Roman Empire, to a Greek family during the third century in the city of Patara (Lycia et Pamphylia), in present-day Turkey, which was a port on the Mediterranean Sea, and lived in Myra,Lycia (part of modern-day Demre, Turkey), at a time when the region was Greek in its heritage, culture, and outlook and politically part of the Roman diocese of Asia He was the only son of wealthy Christian parents named Epiphanius (Ἐπιφάνιος) and Johanna (Ἰωάννα) according to some accounts and Theophanes (Θεοφάνης) and Nonna (Νόννα) according to others. He was very religious from an early age and according to legend, Nicholas was said to have rigorously observed the canonical fasts of Wednesdays and Fridays. His wealthy parents died in an epidemic while Nicholas was still young and he was raised by his uncle—also named Nicholas—who was the bishop of Patara. He tonsured the young Nicholas as a reader and later ordained him a presbyter(priest).
In the year AD 305, several monks from Anatolia in Asia Minor came to the Holy Land to Beit Jala, Palestine and established a small monastery with a church named in honor of the Great Martyr George (Saint George). This was before St. Sava’s Monastery was founded in the desert east of Bethlehem on the Kidron Gorge near the Dead Sea.
These monks lived in Beit Jala on the mountain overlooking Bethlehem in a few caves. In the years 312-315, St. Nicholas lived there and came as a pilgrim to visit shrines in the Holy Land. A text written in his own hand is still in the care of the Greek Orthodox Patriarch of Jerusalem. It was in his prayers that St. Nicholas heard the Holy Spirit call him back to Asia Minor, to Myra, where soon after his return in 317 he was consecrated bishop.
In 325, he was one of many bishops to answer the request of Constantine and appear at the First Council of Nicaea. There, Nicholas was a staunch anti-Arian and defender of the Orthodox Christian position, and one of the bishops who signed the Nicene Creed. (text wikipedia)
Iconographer – Liviu Dumitrescu
- Other iconographic representations can be made beside the ones presented on the website