Saint Nicholas is best remembered in modern times in his guise of Father Christmas, and often as the bearded fellow who gives out presents at Yuletide department store promotions.
GVs Saint Nicholas Church and museum at Demre. (2 SHOTS)
SV AND CU Ancient pillars which were relics from original church. (2 SHOTS)
GV AND SV ZOOM INTO CU Children gathered around statue of Saint Nicholas. (2 SHOTS)
GV TILT DOWN INTERIOR Church service in progress.
SV Priest giving sermon.
SV Man dressed as Santa Claus. (2 SHOTS)
SV Priest and others signing hymns.
SV Santa handing out gifts to children.
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Background: Saint Nicholas is best remembered in modern times in his guise of Father Christmas, and often as the bearded fellow who gives out presents at Yuletide department store promotions. But there is only one town which can boast being able to remember him as he really was - it's the small Turkish town of Demre, where Saint Nicholas lived in the fourth century. They have a church named after him, and have a museum which houses relics from his time, and from the original church, where he was bishop. In the fourth century, the town, known as Myra, was an important centre of the Christian faith. A statue commemorating the life of the saint is a popular meeting place for the local children. Saint Nicholas has been admired by children throughout the ages and many myths surrounds his life. Few certain details are known, but legend has it he began his good works by saving three girls form prostitution by throwing bags of gold as dowry through their windows and down their chimneys. This gave rise to stories of Saint Nicholas's generosity with the local children and, in many towns such as Demre, people dressed as Saint Nicholas hand out gifts at religious services on his December 6 feast day. Prayers are said for the saint who is believed, during his lifetime, to have saved the town from famine, rescued sailors from shipwreck, and protected innocent people from harm.