Christmas 2017: Researchers One Step Closer to Finding Out if Pelvis Belongs to St. Nicholas

REUTERS/Yves HermanAn old man dressed as St. Nicholas poses with a family during a traditional parade in central Brussels, Belgium December 3, 2016.

Archaeologists are one step closer to finding out if the pelvic bone discovered earlier this year is really that of St. Nicholas.

Although the relics of St. Nicholas are preserved in a church in Italy, they are missing with some parts. However, it may just be a matter of time before his relics will be sort of complete as a pelvis suspected that to be of the saint that was discovered earlier this year has already been confirmed to belong to the era believed when he existed.

According to reports, a fragment of the pelvic bone to have passed from St Nicholas's grave in Lycia to a church in Illinois via Italy and France has been confirmed to have dated to the 4th century AD, the time believed when the saint died. While the information is still not a conclusive evidence, researchers believe that they are now one step closer to finding out the truth.

"It's the first step. If we get a date in tandem with the historical date, that tells us that we haven't been able to disprove that it could have been from that individual," Dr Georges Kazan, one of the researchers who carried out the carbon dating procedure on the relics at the Oxford Relics Cluster at Keble College's Advanced Studies Centre, said.

"This bone fragment, in contrast, suggests that we could possibly be looking at remains from St Nicholas himself," opined Professor Tom Higham, director of the center.

The next step for the researchers is to match the DNA of the relic with the other fragments held by the Basilica di San Nicola in Bari, southern Italy, which are missing a pelvis.

Stories about St. Nicholas are believed to have originated from Turkey, where he served as a bishop in Myra and exhibited generosity and compassion towards the poor. After his death in modern-day Turkey, St. Nicholas' relics have been kept in the Basilica di San Nicola in Bari since the 11th century.

St. Nicholas is considered as the Father of Christmas and is the inspiration for the creation of Santa Claus.