The tale of the real Santa—and why he became a saint

“… a fresh look at St. Nicholas…. English does an excellent job of fleshing out the life and ministry of this man who became a saint who still inspires today.”
Library Journal (Sept. 15, 2012)

“[English] … contends that this mythohistorical figure can best be understood when studied in the context of his milieu, the volatile political and religious atmosphere of 4th-century Greece. He presents this understanding very well.”
Publishers Weekly (Sept. 10, 2012)


This year, leave the sled in the garage, the reindeer in the stable, and the presents under the tree. Journey to the other side of the world where the air tastes of salt and the warm sun sheds winter coats and mittens. Welcome to the land of St. Nicholas, the saint who would be Santa Claus.

Of all the places you will find Santa Claus this Christmas, the southern shores of Turkey might be the least likely, but it is here where our story begins. We find him doing exactly what we would expect him to do – giving away his possessions to the poor and asking for nothing in return. And yet, that’s little more than the wrapping paper on the present. There’s much more to be told – a story of courage, compassion, sea rescues, unseen battles, and unbroken faith. It’s the story of the real Santa, the true St. Nicholas.