Who Are Santa Claus and St. Nicholas?

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Who Are Santa Claus and St. Nicholas?

Who Are Santa Claus and St. Nicholas?

What comes to mind when we think of Christmas? Pine trees, snow, gifts, Santa Claus etc. So why does Christmas remind us of these? Why does Christmas remind you of such things? Is this Christmas image real?

For this, we need to look at 2 important elements:

1- What is Christmas?
2- Who is Santa Claus?

What is Christmas?

The word Christmas comes from the Latin word “natus”, which is the past tense of “nasci”. It came to modern Turkish from French. This word is actually used to describe the birth of Jesus Christ.

So why is the birth of Jesus Christ important? The birth of Jesus Christ is heralded in the Old Testament, beginning with Genesis:

“I will make enemies of each other, between you and the woman, her offspring and your lineage. His offspring will crush your head, You will strike at his heel.” (Genesis 3:15)

“Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, the maiden will conceive and bear a son; He will name him Immanuel.” (Isaiah 7:14)

“For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us.
Management will be on his shoulders.
His name is Great Counselor, Mighty God,
The Eternal Father will become the Prince of Peace.

He will reign over David’s throne and land.
The growth of his dominion and well-being will not cease.
He will establish his kingdom with justice and righteousness, And it will last forever.
The zeal of the LORD Almighty will ensure that.” (Isaiah 9:6-7)

Christmas is the fulfillment of prophecies in pre-Biblical scriptures. This event is described in the Gospel of John as follows:

In the beginning was the Word. The Word was with God, and the Word was God. In the beginning He was with God. Everything came into being through Him, nothing that existed was without Him. Life was in Him, and life was the light of men. The light shines in the dark. The darkness could not defeat him. (John 1: 1-5) The Word became human and dwelt among us. We have seen His glory—the glory of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth. (John 1:14)

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Early Life of St. Nicholas The person called Santa Claus is actually MS. He is a religious man named Nikolas, who was born in a small village of the ancient Patara region in Antalya City, Turkey, at the end of the 3rd century. As the only child of a very wealthy family, Nikolas grows up with Christian values. He loses his parents to an illness at a very young age. He strives to use his inheritance according to the command of Jesus Christ: “If you want to be complete, go, sell what you have, give money to the poor; so you will have treasure in heaven. Then come and follow me” (Matthew: 19:21)

Here Nicholas was using all his wealth to help the sick, the old and the needy. He devoted his life to the service of God and people, thus becoming the Bishop of Myra at a young age. Bishop Nicholas was world-renowned for his generosity to the needy, his love for children, and his concern for sailors.

During the reign of Emperor Diocletian (AD 244 – 311), who applied brutal oppression to Christians, Bishop Nicholas lived in exile and imprisonment because of his faith. He was released after Constantine became emperor and joined the Council of Nicaea in 325 AD.

The Importance of St. Nicholas in Christianity
Bishop Nicholas is famous for arguing with an Arius or an Arian bishop at the Council of Nicaea. As it is known, Arius claims in the Council of Nicaea that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, but that he was created by God and has a lower-status nature than God the Father. Bishop Nicholas strongly opposed this idea. He argued that Jesus Christ, defined as the Trinity (Father – Son – Holy Spirit), is in the same degree as the Father and the Holy Spirit in God’s nature.

Bishop Nicholas passed away on December 6 (December 22, according to the Gregorian calendar we are using now). The Catholic, Orthodox, and Anglican churches consider him an important Saint. In some European countries, St. Nicholas is the most used church name.

There are many stories about St. Nicholas. The most famous of these concerns the three daughters of a poor man in his own village. In those days, the bigger the dowry of a young girl, the greater the chance of marriage. If they had no dowry, the girls were given as slaves. Since this poor man’s daughters have no dowry, they are about to be sold as slaves. One day, three bags of gold are thrown from the window of this poor man’s house. These bags fall next to the shoes placed in front of the stove to dry. It turns out that these bags of gold were thrown by St. Nicholas. This has now become a tradition that children follow as they long for gifts from St. Nicholas, or Santa Claus.

Christmas, Santa and New Year’s Eve

In the 20th century, especially after the secularization of the world; Saint Nicholas has turned into Santa Claus, that is, Santa Claus. Saint Nicholas, a true believer in Jesus Christ, a faithful servant of God and his people, has been turned into a fictitious character.

The feast of St. Nicholas, normally celebrated on December 6, has now been combined by the West with Christmas and New Year’s Day, one of the most important religious holidays celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ. Therefore, Christmas is not the coming of Jesus Christ, that is, God in human form, to our world as a baby; In order to keep the world economy alive, it has become an artificial cultural element that everyone receives plenty of gifts.

In conclusion, we need to understand that Christmas and Santa Claus are two completely different things, but they both point to a fact:

Christmas: It is the beginning of the process that leads to the coming and living of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, the Word that created the Universe, and then his sacrifice on the cross for us.

Santa Claus: Living as a real person in a real date (4th century AD), in a real place (Myra – Antalya); It is Saint Nicholas who serves God and his people.

The greatest misfortune of St. Nicholas is that such a humble life, devoted to God, overshadowed the day Jesus Christ came to earth in the 20th century, due to secular marketing concerns.

Concepts such as Christmas, Santa Claus, New Year’s Eve are definitely different from each other.

Source: https://www.kutsalkitap.org/ 
Photo: https://www.haberturk.com/& https://www.joom.com/t

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