Bishop Nicholas of Myra/Demre (AD 270-343)
Popularly known as Santa Claus today, Nicholas was born to a wealthy family in Patara (modern Gelemiş) in 270. Nicholas became bishop of Myra, a town to the west of Antalya, in Mediterranean Turkey. As the bishop of Myra, his godly influence was felt through- out Asia Minor (modern Turkey). As a strong support- er of orthodox Christianity, he participated in the first Ecumenical Church Council in Nicaea in 325 and assisted in the writing of the first version of the Nicene Creed. He died in 343. In the 500s, the Church of Nicholas was built, which contains his sarcophagus. In 1087, his physical remains were taken to Bari in Italy by Italian mer- chants.