December 19th is St. Nicholas day in Beit Jala, near Bethlehem, West Bank. Tradition believes that St. Nicholas lived in the cave under what is today the church of St. Nicholas, from 312-315 AD. St. Nicholas is the patron saint of Beit Jala and is believed to be it's defender and protector during wars and times of trouble.
United Press International is a leading provider of news, photos and information to millions of readers around the globe via UPI.com and its licensing services.
With a history of reliable reporting dating back to 1907, today's UPI is a credible source for the most important stories of the day, continually updated - a one-stop site for U.S. and world news, as well as entertainment, trends, science, health and stunning photography. UPI also provides insightful reports on key topics of geopolitical importance, including energy and security.