The true story of Saint Nicholas, bishop of Myra, began in Turkey where he died in 343. His bones were preserved there for 7 centuries. Albert de Varangéville, a knight from Lorraine, brought back a finger from one of the saint’s hands to the chapel in ‘Hameau de Port” near Nancy. This town thus became Saint Nicolas de Port. In 1093, the bishop of Toul then built a new church in the town. In the 15th century, it was replaced by a basilica that still exists today. It was René II, Duke of Lorraine, who gave Saint Nicolas the tile of Patron Saint of Lorraine.
The story continues
Since then and every year, there is a re-enactment of his story and a parade that is appreciated by young and old alike, who still consider him a kindly and generous Saint who knows how to tell the difference between nice and bad children.
In Saint Nicolas de Port, there is a real ritual and commemoration of the Patron Saint. Hundreds of torches illuminate the church building. The religious celebration is an unmissable event during the end of year holiday season in Lorraine. There has been over 770 editions of this festival in Saint-Nicolas de Port and the torchlight procession pays tribute to Lord de Réchicourt. He was a prisoner in the East around 1240 and prayed to Saint Nicolas for his release. He later woke up in front of the church in Saint Nicholas de Port. Since then and every year, thousands of people gather in the torchlight to sing a song for Saint Nicolas in chorus.