We apologize if any children see this article, but a stunning discovery has occurred in Turkey.
The original Saint Nicholas of Myra, the man who our modern-day Santa Claus is modeled after, was an early church bishop in Asia Minor in the 4th century. He was entombed in this church and, due to natural disaster, his actual burial place has been lost to history.
From the Daily Wire:
“The first church was submerged with the rise of the Mediterranean Sea, and some centuries later, a new church was built above,” Osman Eravsar, the chief of the cultural heritage preservation board in Antalya, said of the church in Demre.
“Now we have reached the remains of the first church and the floor on which Saint Nicholas stepped,” he continued. “The tiling of the floor of the first church, on which Saint Nicholas walked, has been unearthed.”
So they’ve been digging around, trying to get to the original church building and they’ve made it.
“Turkish archaeologists reportedly detected a crypt 5ft beneath the marble slabs which make the church’s floor,” The Irish Sun reported.
Prior research believed the remains of the saint had been stolen by Italian thieves in the 11th century, but Turkish archaeologists aver that the bones in Italy were those of an unknown priest.
It’s entirely possible that St. Nick’s bones have remained undisturbed this entire time.
St. Nicholas became legendary for selling his possessions and living meekly while generously giving away his wealth to the poor.
One story told of the original Saint Nicolas relates that he bequeathed three poor girls marriage gifts consisting of bags of gold to prevent them from turning to a life of prostitution. He was said to have climbed up to their windows and thrown the money in so they would not be embarrassed by receiving the money in public.
The Roman emperor Diocletian, who hated Christians, reportedly imprisoned Nicolas, but he was released by Emperor Constantine, who embraced Christianity.
After his death, Nicolas became the patron saint of Russia and Greece and cities from Fribourg to Moscow. Literally thousands of European churches were dedicated to him.
In Holland, Saint Nicolas was known [after] the Reformation as Sinterklaas; when Dutch colonists came to America that name evolved into Santa Claus. “His legend of a kindly old man was united with old Nordic folktales of a magician who punished naughty children and rewarded good children with presents,” Britannica notes.
The legend of Jolly Old St. Nick and his generosity are important reminders of what it looks like to live life for Christ.
This is an exciting historic discovery.