Amsterdam church receives Saint Nicholas bone fragment for Sinterklaas
A relic from the patron saint of Amsterdam will be interred in the Basilica of Saint Nicholas on Sunday to coincide with Sinterklaas celebrations, according to AD. The feast of Saint Nicholas has been celebrated in the Netherlands for 700 years, though the commercialization of the holiday as it is celebrated today began in the 1930s.
The relic is said to be a piece of rib from the Turkish saint who was the basis for the Sinterklaas story, celebrated every winter in the Netherlands. This bone fragment previously belonged to the Egmond Abbey for a thousand years, along with four others. "The rib is certainly from Saint Nicholas," said Brother Adelbert of Egmond Abbey. He told the newspaper that the history of the bone has been documented since the year 1087 when his bones were removed from the St. Nicholas Church of Myra, in the present-day town of Demre, Turkey.
Saint Nicholas lived was born in 270, and died in 343. During the 4th century as the Bishop of Myra. He helped the less fortunate in his lifetime, and the legends of his gift gifting grew after his death. The Basilica wants to "call attention to the mercy of the city's patron saint and his inspiring willingness to always be open to others".
Relics, which are remains of saints or objects having come in contact with them, are believed in Christianity to have miraculous properties. The interring of this relic will kick off an entire year honoring Saint Nicholas featuring lectures and concerts. There will also be a walking route along the three churches dedicated to Nicholas in the Red Light District: the Basilica of Saint Nicholas, the Oude Kerk, and Ons' Lieve Heer op Solder.