Stories & Legends

St Nicholas with children
Saint Nicholas
Artist: G. E. Mullan
St Nicholas Center Collection
Interactive story painting
Interactive Story Painting

Stories about St. Nicholas were first told while he was living, as sailors already claimed him as their patron saint. Sailing to different ports and along rivers, they carried Nicholas stories throughout Europe. As stories were told and retold, imaginative and sometimes miraculous details were added—details which vary in different accounts of the same episode. Only a unique and special person inspires such a rich legacy.

These stories reveal St. Nicholas’ character; the story of a man who embodied love—love for God and care for people. He was ready to help in any way—truly loving neighbor as himself. The stories reveal a man, lover of the poor and patron saint of children, who is a worthy example. Bishop Nicholas put Jesus Christ at the center of his ministry and his entire life—a true saint.

Traditional Stories & Legends

The life of Nicholas, along with early and later associated miracles, are told in basic re-tellings. These thirty-eight stories, drawn from ancient sources, Orthodox tradition, and The Golden Legend, form the core of the St. Nicholas tradition.

Interactive Story Painting

Many of the traditional stories are included in this interactive story painting, Life & Miracles of Saint Nicholas, by Alexander Boguslawski. The vignettes illustrate thirty-one stories.

Classic Sources for Saint Nicholas 

The oldest surviving account from the 5th century, thirteen stories from The Golden Legend, original source material on the Translation of the Relics, and more

Life of St. Nicholas shown in images 

The cycle of Saint Nicholas shown in frescos, icons, stained glass and textiles from Amsterdam, Iceland, Spain, Serbia, Romania, Italy, France, Germany, England, Switzerland, and the United States. Images told the stories before the days of printing presses and the spread of literacy. There is also a whimsical adaptation from The Golden Legend.

Modern Miracle Accounts 

Reports from Europe, Russia, Greece, the United States, and more, including weeping icons

More Stories & Poems from the Resource section

Introductory stories for children, some especially for classroom use, folk tales, and much more
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