A sculpture depicting Saint Nicholas, this Nicholas was born in Patara, Lycia, an ancient province of Asia Minor (currently Turkey) around 270 and died in Myra in 343 while he was the bishop there.

The patron saint of students, his cult had been confirmed since the 6th century in the East and spread to the West from Italy starting in the 11th century.

Canonized, he was proclaimed the protector of many nations and many trades.

He is one of the best known and most venerated saints in the Orthodox Church, renowned among other reasons for his miracles. It was said that he was very kind and attentive to people. He offered assistance and distributed gifts to those in need. Having inherited the fortune of his parents who died of the plague, he shared it with the poor.

His cult developed greatly in Western Europe after the arrival of his relics in Bari, Italy in 1807.

Isn’t he also the one who distributes gifts to good children?

In Quebec, among other places, students of the Hérouxville primary school run by the sisters of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin from 1935 to 1940, sung this short song, said to be the song of Saint Nicholas:

– Apportez-moi du suc (sucre) tout mon petit panier. (Put some sugar in my little basket.)
– J’irai à l’école, j’apprendrai mes leçons. (I will go to school; I will learn my lessons.)
– Je serai doux et sage comme un petit mouton. (I will be sweet and good like a little lamb.)

Donation from a collector
Musée Pierre-Boucher Collection
1987 64 S