How St. Nicholas Raised 3 Boys From the Dead: The Miraculous Legend Behind the Patron Saint of Children

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National Library of Wales [CC0], via Wikimedia Commons

This is such a cool story!

Dec. 6 is the feast of St. Nicholas, an early Christian bishop of the third and fourth centuries, and the man also known as “Santa Claus”. There are not many proven historical details about his life, just those passed down through the centuries.

Many legends surround his life, but one particular story earned him the title of protector and patron saint of children.

Paintings often depict St. Nicholas with three young boys standing inside a barrel. But why?

According to the legend, three boys played in a field during harvest time. However, they wandered into the city and got lost, unable to make it home. They then stopped at a butcher shop asking for food and a place to sleep.

The butcher then murdered the three boys and kept the remains in a barrel. Seven years later, St. Nicholas knocked on the butcher’s door and said, “Open your large salting tub!”

He then said, “Rise up, children.” Some accounts say he made the Sign of the Cross as he miraculously resurrected the boys.

According to the French legend, the butcher then became St. Nicholas’ servant. However, because this is a legend and not an actual historical account, various versions were passed on through the centuries. Click here to learn more about this legend.

What do you think of the story? Do you think it could have happened?

St. Nicholas, please pray for us! 🙏

[See also: The Real Man Behind Santa Claus: The Story of the Great St. Nicholas]

[See also: The Hidden Wonder of the U.S. Capital: St. Nicholas Orthodox Cathedral]