Meet Saint Nicholas
Today we celebrate the feast of Saint Nicholas, Bishop of Myra, born in the year 270 into a wealthy Greek family of modern-day Turkey. The veneration for his memory was such that his bones were stolen by adventurous sailors from his original tomb in the Church of Myra in 1087 and brought to Bari, in Italy, where they rest to this day in the Basilica that bears his name.
Nicholas’s skull was briefly exhumed from his grave in Bari in the 1950s, and a cast was made. This has since allowed forensic scientists to reconstitute his face
. This BBC News article contains details on the technique used by anthropologist Dr. Caroline Wilkinson to recreate Nicholas’s features. Of course some educated guesswork went into the color and cut of the hair and beard (presumably white, since Nicholas died in his late sixties.) The facial hair is trimmed in accordance with men’s fashions in the Middle East at the time. He was given the brown eyes and olive complexion deemed likely for his Greek ethnicity.
Is it not amazing to be able to meet at last the real Santa Claus?