Where’s Santa buried? Resting places of the real St. Nick

The story of how St. Nicholas became the red-suited chimney hopper we know as Santa is fascinating in its own right. But the final chapter of the holy man’s own story is equally intriguing—and controversial.Though his remains are venerated worldwide, nobody knows for certain where he rests in peace—or more accurately, in pieces. In the early and medieval Christian tradition, the mortal remains of popular saints were scattered among various churches in various places to be displayed as sacred relics.Dating and DNA tests may allow scientists to piece together which relics are actually from the same man. In 2017 Oxford University scholars announced a first step in that direction: A radiocarbon study that shows a bone long thought to be a St. Nicholas relic and housed in St. Martha of Bethany Church in Morton Grove, Illinois, does in fact date to the time of the saint’s death.The Greek bishop, known as a patron of children, likely died in A.D. 343 in Myra, a small town now called Demre in modern-day Turkey. Though the year of his death is disputed, the day is not—December 6, now celebrated as St. Nicholas Day. View Images

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