Who REALLY is Santa? Priest Claims To Have BONE of Historical Figure

Elizabeth Elden
6th December 2017, 4:00 PM
  • Scientists believe bone fragment to be from legendary figure
  • St Nicholas lived in Turkey during the 4th Century
  • Most of his remains are in Italy
  • Wednesday 6th December is St. Nicholas’ Day
A piece of Father Christmas may be owned by an American Priest, science suggests. Image: Getty

A fragment of bone said to belong to fourth Century figure St Nicholas, who is the inspiration behind Father Christmas, could indeed be from the legendary figure, scientists have said.

The discovery is well timed, as today is the anniversary of his death, known as the Feast of Saint Nicholas, or St. Nicholas’ Day.

Researchers from the University of Oxford have carbon dated the bone, which was long claimed to be from the Saint but without any proof, and have found it does date back to the correct period of history.

While this doesn’t categorically prove it belongs to the Saint, the results do pinpoint the relic to the time that historians believe he died in, 343 AD.

Professor Tom Higham, the director of the Oxford Relics Cluster at Keble College’s Advanced Studies Centre, said, “Many relics that we study turn out to date to a period somewhat later than the historic attestation would suggest.

“The bone fragment, in contrast, suggests that we could possibly be looking at remains from St. Nicholas himself.”

St Nicholas is thought to have lived in Myra, which is now modern day Turkey.

According to legend, he was a wealthy man who was widely known for his generosity, and has since become the Patron Saint of children, repentant thieves, students, pawnbrokers, and merchants in various countries around Europe.

Historical figure Saint Nicholas was known for his generosity and inspired the story of Father Christmas. Image: Getty

The most famous story is of how he helped out a poor man and his three daughters in secret, by throwing a purses of money down their chimney one night, and then money landing in stockings that were drying by the fire.

It is from this story that the tradition of stockings by the fireplace on Christmas Eve comes from, and what links him to being Father Christmas.

Most of the remains of St Nicholas are held in the Basilica di San Nicola, in Bari, Italy, where they have been buried in a crypt since 1087, but over the years relic fragments have been acquired by churches around the world, so it isn’t unreasonable that a relic has made it’s way to America.

The fragment in question is owned by Father Dennis O’Neill, of St Martha of Bethany Church, in Illinois, and it a pelvic fragment.

Dr georges Kazan, another director of the Oxford Relics Cluster, said, “These results encourage us not to turn to the Bari and Venice relics to attempt to show that the bone remains are from the same individual.

“We can do this using ancient paleogenomics, or DNA testing.

“It is exciting to think that these relics, which date from such an ancient time, could in fact be genuine.”

Although the science can link the relic to the time period, it can never definitively say whether the bone belongs to Saint Nicholas or not.

Comments