When we hear the name Saint Nicholas, most people picture a jolly fat man in a red hat who brings presents on Christmas morning. Saint Nicholas, though, isn’t just a man who lives at the North Pole—he’s a real person.
About 1,700 years ago, the real Saint Nicholas lived in Turkey, serving as a bishop for the Catholic Church. The real man has a whole legend of his own, full of some incredibly strange stories that just might change how you see Christmas.
10. He Is The Patron Saint Of Prostitutes
Being the patron saint of prostitutes is a huge part of Saint Nicholas’s legend.
As the story goes, a poor man in Myra in the third century had three daughters who were getting old enough to get married. Since the father couldn’t afford to pay their dowries, he decided to sell his daughters into slavery as prostitutes.
Saint Nicholas found out and decided to help. But he didn’t want anyone to know he was doing it. So he sneaked into their house at night and threw a bag of gold that landed in the oldest girl’s shoe. When she woke, she found it and finally had enough money to get married.
He came back again when the other girls came of age. The third time, the girls’ father caught Saint Nicholas, who made the father promise not to reveal Nicholas’s identity or what he had done.