It is confirmed that Santa’s grave has been found under a 1500-year old church in Turkey. The grave was unknown for many years, but archaeologists have finally confirmed it belongs to Father Christmas. The grave is very well preserved but some mosaics on the floor of the church make it difficult to get to the grave site.
St. Nicholas’s shrine is located in 1500-year old St. Nicholas Church in Antalya Province town of Demre, South Turkey. An unknown tomb was identified using electronic surveys that showed gaps beneath the church’s surface.
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St. Nicholas, or Father Christmas, used all his inheritance in helping the needy, the suffering, and the sick. He is what the Santa Claus legend was built on. St. Nicholas became the famous Santa Claus in the 1930s because of Coca Cola’s famous Christmas campaign that created the red suit wearing old fellow with a snow-white beard and an undying laughter.
There have been many stories about his kind deeds. One of tales describes how a bag of gold mysteriously appeared in a man’s house who was collecting money to get his daughters married. If he didn’t have the gold, his daughters were going to be sold as slaves. This legend marked the beginning of people leaving stockings hanging on fireplaces so that Santa Claus can come and leave gifts.
Another legend says that once St. Nicholas prayed and saved a ship from being wrecked by a violent sea. And that is why St. Nicholas is also known as the patron saint of voyagers.
Historians believe St. Nicholas was born in the ancient Greek city of Myra, today known as Demre. Cemil Karabayram, head of Antalya’s Monument Authority, hopes to find an untouched body of St. Nicholas beneath the church’s floor. Karabayram said it is just the beginning, and a lot still needs to be discovered to get a better picture of the reality.
It is thought that St. Nicholas died in 343 AD and was buried under the church in 1087. His body was kept in Bari, Italy before taking it to Demre. Recently, bones were found near the church but it was later revealed that they didn’t belong to St. Nicholas. Instead, they were actually the bones of a local priest.
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