With Christmas upon us, many parents are telling their children about Santa Claus. There was a real Santa Claus. His name was St. Nicholas (found in the Book of Saints). He was a bishop who lived in Asia Minor. He came from a family of nobility and his parents had died, leaving their fortune to him. He used it by secretly going about helping poor people in need.

In those days, some poor families would dig up a cave-like home from the side of a hill and have only the front part of the dwelling with windows and door to keep out the bad weather.

One day, St. Nicholas heard about a man who was about to give up his three daughters to a life of prostitution, since they were in extreme poverty. It was easy for Nicholas to secretly come during the night on the “roof” of the home and drop a bag of money down the chimney of the unheated home. He did not go down the chimney.

With this gift from “heaven,” the man had enough money to get necessities and have dowry money to marry off his three daughters in a respectful manner.

People the world over have been carrying on that tradition of kindness ever since.

Gabrielle DeMoras, Lewiston

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