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Nicholas was born in the third century to wealthy parents who believed in God and taught Nicholas, their only child, to follow God too. Nicholas loved God from the time that he was a young child; he prayed, fasted, and went to Church regularly. When Nicholas was still young, his parents died, leaving him an orphan. His uncle, also named Nicholas, was a bishop, and he took care of his nephew and helped him to follow Jesus. Nicholas's parents had left him an inheritance when they died, and he used this money to help the poor whenever he could. He would give this money and other gifts in secret, because he did not want people to thank him but only to praise God for the gifts they had received. His uncle, the bishop, made Nicholas a priest, and then Nicholas became a bishop too. The younger Bishop Nicholas was very well loved by the people he served. Everyone knew how much he loved God, how very generous he was, and how many miracles were performed through him by God’s power. Nicholas became a saint long before the Church created a formal process for naming saints (canonization). His feast day is December 6, and Nicholas—the patron saint of children popularly known as Santa Claus—remains a beloved saint in the both Eastern and Western rites of the Church.