St. Nicholas

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St. Nicholas—nearly everybody's saint!

Mosaic, Nicholas with children
Patron of Children
Mosaic, Seoul Anglican Cathedral, Korea
Photo: Anglican World/JMR

In addition to children, sailors, and prisoners, many others have laid claim to St. Nicholas as patron. The list below shows the great variety of causes which are linked to him. Why did some of these groups become identified with the beloved saint? Though usually traced to one of the stories or legends, some are primarily geographical, such as the cloth trade which was strong in Flanders and Lorraine where many churches were named for St. Nicholas. Some unlikely groups, like thieves, are in his patronage—not because he helps them steal, but because he helps them repent and change. One of the most commonly seen, though not necessarily understood, is the pawnbrokers' symbol of three gold balls. Pawnbrokers and bankers both regarded Saint Nicholas as their patron and took his gold balls as their own symbol to represent redeeming something of value as Nicholas had used the three bags of gold to redeem the lives of three young women.

Nicholas is the Patron Saint of:

Archers
Apothecaries (pharmacists)
Armed forces police
Bakers
Bankers
Bargemen
Barrel makers
Boatmen
Boot blacks
Bottlers
Boys
Brewers
Brides
Businessmen
Butchers
Button-makers
Candle makers
Captives
Chandlers (suppliers of ships)
Children
Choristers
Citizens
Clergy
Clerks
Cloth trade & merchants
Coopers (barrelmakers)
Corn measurers & merchants
Court recorders, registrars, clerks
Dock workers
Drapers
Druggists
Embalmers
Falsely accused
Ferrymen
Firefighters
Fishermen
Florists
Grain dealers & merchants
Grocers
Grooms
Haberdashers
Infants
Infertile
Judges
Lace makers & sellers
Lawsuits lost unjustly
Lawyers
Lemko people, Ukraine
Linen merchants
Longshoremen
Lovers
Maidens
Mariners
Merchants
Military intelligence
Millers
Murano glassmakers
Murderers
Navigators
Newlyweds
Notaries
Oil merchants
Orphans
Packers
Parish clerks
Paupers
Pawnbrokers
Pedlars
Perfumeries
Perfumers
Pharmacists
Pilgrims
Pirates
Poets
Poor people
Preachers
Prisoners
Prostitutes
Pupils
Rag pickers
Ribbon weavers
Robbers & thieves
Schoolchildren
Sailors
Scholars
Sealers
Seed merchants
Shearmen
Shipwreck victims
Shipwrights & gaugers
Ships carpenters
Shoemakers
Shoe shiners
Shopkeepers
Skippers
Soldiers
Spice-dealers
Spinsters
Students
Tanners
Teachers
Thieves
Timber merchants
Travelers
Unjustly condemned
Unmarried men
Unmarried women
Virgins
Watermen
Weavers
Wine porters, merchants & vendors
Women, desirous of marrying
Woodturners

Pawnbrokers Honor Patron Saint

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