Saint Nicholas was generous to the poor and special protector of the innocent and wronged. Many stories grew up around him prior to his becoming known as Santa Claus. An interesting one is that upon hearing that a local man had fallen on hard times and was planning to sell his daughters into prostitution, he went to the house and threw three bags of gold through the window, saving the girls from an evil life. The three bags of gold became the three golden balls that indicate a pawn broker’s shop. Patron saint of Russia, his feast day is December 9th.