St. Nicholas the Wonderworker, Archbishop of Myra in Lycia
Martyrs Dionysia, her son Majoricus, her sister Dativa, Leontia, Emilian the Physician, Tertius, Boniface, and Severus of Carthage.
Abramius, Bishop of Cratea in Bithynia, disciple of Saint Sabbas the Sanctified.
New Martyr Nicholas of Caramania
New Hieromartyrs Nicholas, Priest of Novo-Nikolskaya, Nicholas, Missionary of Moscow, and Nicholas, Priest of Tobolsk.
Commemorated December 6
It Happened in Siberia
by Alexandra Dabbart
For twenty years I lived in Lima, Peru. During that time a Russian parish was established there. Our deacon, the late Eugene Nikolaevich Dolmatev, related to me a miracle which occurred through the intercession of St. Nicholas.
It happened in Siberia. The White Army under Kolchak was retreating. Eugene Nikolaevich, in spite of a severe wound suffered in the First World War, served in Kolchak’s forces in the rank of first lieutenant. It was a harsh winter.
Entering a village, the partisans seized a peasant suspected of collaborating with the Reds. It was decided to execute him. Eugene Nikolaevich ordered the prisoner to be locked up.
That night, as the lieutenant was sitting alone writing out the accusation, there came a knock at the door. He opened it and in stepped an old man wearing a skoufia, like those worn by monks, and an old cassock. “Mister officer,” he said, “you have an arrested peasant here. Don’t kill him. He’s innocent.”
“And who are you?” inquired Eugene Nikolaevich.
“I am the rector of the local church, Fr. Nicholas,” answered the old man, and he left.
Eugene Nikolaevich thought it over and decided to release the prisoner. Early in the morning he ordered a sleigh to be harnessed, had the prisoner get in, took some bread, and told the escorts: “I’m going to shoot him.” Once in the forest he untied the prisoner, gave him the bread, and said: “Into the woods with you, and don’t cross our path again!”
Returning to the village, Eugene Nikolacyich went to the church. It was locked. He asked a peasant walking by: “Where does Fr. Nicholas live? … “The Reds shot him long ago,” came the reply.
Eugene Nikolaevich was taken aback, but he decided to look around the church anyway. Someone unlocked the door for him, and he went inside. Suddenly he saw to the right an icon of St. Nicholas and immediately recognized him as his nocturnal visitor; in the icon the wonderworking hierarch was depicted wearing the very same skoufia.
By Alexandra Dabbart, Novoye Russkoe Slovo, December 20, 1980. Quoted by Orthodox America.
An account from the Soviet Union, 1965
In February, 1965, a bus full of people was going towards a city. Next to the driver there was sitting an old man with a white beard, tall, and full of vigor.He wore a heavy coat with a fur collar, and a fur cap with flaps. The bus was going slowly because of the snow which was falling outside. At one turn, the chains of the back wheels came off. The bus skidded and almost collided with another full bus. All these things happened very quickly. The driver lost control of the bus, and everyone’s heart jumped. Finally the two buses halted at a distance of barely three-quarters of an inch apart, without any mishap.
Then the old man made the sign of the Cross and cried out: “Glory to Thee, O Lord, glory to Thee! Blessed be thy name, O All-holy mother of God, who has saved us …” In a few moments the other bus left. The driver and his assistant went out to put on the chains.
Smiling, one young man opened a conversation with the old man. “Forgive me elder,” he said, “but I could not hold back from laughing when I heard you call upon the non-existent Heavenly Powers and saw you make your Cross. Habit, of course, is second nature. I see that you wear the distinguishing mark of a scientist. But in our times, in the year 1965, it is an incongruity.”
The conversation attracted the attention of all. The old man, without becoming troubled, said, “Gladly, My young comrade, shall I answer you. And if you want I shall make a self-criticism … Wherefore, do you know what I think? All of us are somewhat hypocrites. All of us pretend that we are atheists, dedicated members of the Party, with profound knowledge of Marxism and many other things. And yet there comes a moment every once in a while when the real man expresses himself. Behold, just as it happened even now! This mishap was sufficient to demonstrate it. Since you sit in that place, you of course did not see what happened behind you. I, however, who sit sideways, saw at least another eight or ten making their Cross. It is something within us which we will never be able to uproot, because it would be like uprooting our very bowels. Thus, every day all of us fall into ‘errors-—that is, we remember that there exists a certain great, unknown, and good Power Whom we pretend to ignore …”
“I assure you that this personally never happens with me,” said the young man.
The old man chuckled and said, “You will permit me to prove you false, beloved comrade, because just previously you said, ‘These things in our times, in the year 1965, are an incongruity.’ What was the reason for you to remember that one thousand nine hundred and sixty-five years have passed from the time when the Savior of the world, Jesus Christ, was born!”
“This,” said the young man after having been taken aback a little, “is an evil remnant of an evil past, which must definitely be wiped out. The way you are speaking, you are going to convince us that even miracles take place!”
The old man was silent some moments, and afterwards said, “Yes my beloved one, there are even miracles of God which you yourself will believe, just as all that are here will also believe. When, however, you see them, you will be obliged to keep silent because, if you speak, there is danger that they will close you in some psychiatric clinic.”
The bus had come into the main artery. The heavy snow stopped and thus the driver was able to increase the speed. At one moment, all—as many as were looking at and listening to the old man—saw his place empty! Two or three that were close to his seat made the sign of the Cross, saying, “Holy, holy is God the Almighty.” One of them turned toward the back of the bus and shouted, “Do you understand now who saved us from the collision? He himself, the old man with the white beard, was the Protector of our People … Saint Nicholas!” “I do not know what we are going to do comrades,” said one other in the meantime, “but wherever I may be, I am going to tell of this miracle of Saint Nicholas! And let them lock me in a psychiatric ward if they can. I have you all as witnesses; and especially you, comrade …” The young communist covered his face with his hands for a long time.
After about two hours, the bus stopped and all got down to drink hot tea. The young communist approached several of his fellow]passengers, full of emotion. He asked for their addresses. He also gave them his. All the other others did the same among themselves. “Do you know what I purpose, comrades?” said one young woman, “Let us not lose contact with one another. This which we saw today and heard with our ears is a great thing. Very great. What can it forbode? Certainly something good, because the little old grandfather was the Protector of our People.”
The above miracle was written by an eyewitness. “I cannot write more,” he says, “because I am overcome with emotion and am weeping. I also was on the bus.”
From Contemporary Miracles in Russia by Archimandrite Haralampos Basilopoulos, 1966. Translated by Holy Transfiguration Monastery, Jamaica Plain. Massachusetts. Published by Orthodox Life, May-June, 1967. From the Holy Orthodox Metropolis of Boston.
I heard this story from Hieromonk Theophylact, a monk of the Pskov Caves Monastery, during the latter half of the 1980s. He was told it by a military man—a first-rank captain and man of faith. How did come to the faith?
In his youth he commanded a torpedo boat on the Pacific Ocean. One day the boat went out on its watch into the sea. The weather forecasts were good, and nothing indicated any trouble. Just the same, on the horizon there appeared at first a large dark cloud, which started growing rapidly. A sharp wind blew, which grew into a strong squall. A storm began. Huge waves started beating against the small ship.
The ship was tossed from side to side. Water flowed into the machinery area. The ship was on the verge of stopping, and that would fatal for all.
The captain was no coward, but nevertheless the fear of death reached his heart—after all, he was not alone; he answered for the entire company. What should he do? Then suddenly he remembered his mother’s words of long ago: “Pray to God. He saves people everywhere.” And the words of his grandfather, an old sea dog: “Whoever has not been to sea has never prayed to God.” The captain had not gone to church since childhood—first there was the young pioneers, the komsomol, and then his service. He did not know how to pray. But inside, in his soul he was shouting, “Lord, save me! Lord have mercy!”
Suddenly, a miracle happened. He saw an old man walking right on the waves, wearing the garments of a priest. The captain even had time to look at his face—regular features, a small beard, and a clear gaze. The old man blessed the ship with both hands and immediately the wind died down. The sea went flat. The storm was over. The Captain caught his breath.
Returning, he promised to himself to go without delay to a church and place a candle as a sign of thanks for his deliverance and the salvation of the crew. But in the Far East during the years of persecution, nearly all the churches had been destroyed.
Nevertheless, an opportunity soon presented itself. He was sent on an assignment to Leningrad. While travelling along the Ring Road, the captain noticed a beautiful five-domed cathedral. He left the tram and walked over to it. It was the St. Nicholas Cathedral, of naval glory. But the captain did not know about this. He went into the half-dark lower church, bought a candle for two rubles and fifty kopecks and looked around for a candle stand to place it on. He noticed an icon with the image of a pious elder in the garb of a bishop and decided, “I’ll place a candle before this grandpa.” The captain walked closer, looked at the icon, and froze. The facial features corresponded exactly to those of the amazing elder who had stopped the storm on the Pacific Ocean! “Whose image is that?” the captain asked a church-worker in a dark apron. “What do you mean, whose? It’s the holy hierarch and wonderworker Nicholas, defender of those who sail the sea,” she replied.
This incident was written down in slightly different word by Fr. Theophylact in his collection, This Happened in Our Time. Twenty-seven years have passed since I read it. Much has been erased from my memory, but the main thing remained: the image of St. Nicholas, the merciful, miraculous deliverer of those who are perishing.
Deacon Vladimir Vasilik
“What are you doing?” he asked. “Is this all the wheat you have? No more?”
The fathers replied that this was all they had indeed, and: that they were unable to buy any more because of the Occupation. It should be noted that 10,000 okas’ weight of J wheat were needed a year for the monastery’s survival, and they could not buy even one oka of it.
The unknown priest took a few wheat kernels in his hand, 1 blessed them and threw them on top of the rest of the wheat. I He blessed the four points of the horizon, the monastery, and the sea, and then was about to leave.
“Where do you come from?” the fathers asked him. “Stay J to have some bread and olives!”
“I come from very far away—from Lycia’s Myra,” he said and departed.
One of the brothers had in the meantime gone for some food to offer their visitor, but the elder who was the monastery’s actual protector had vanished. The remaining 150 okas of blessed wheat lasted to the end of the year, that is, from the month of December when St. Nicholas appeared to them, until the following July when the new crop came.
From “On the Wondrous Interventions of the Mighty Right Hand of Divine Providence,” An Athonite Geronikon: Sayings of the Holy Fathers of Mount Athos, compiled by Archimandrite Ioannikios Kotsonis, translated from the Greek by sisters of the Holy Monastery of St. Gregory Palamas, published 2003 by Holy Monastery of St. Gregory Palamas in Thessaloniki.
“PAPA, IT’S HIM!”
A Miracle of St. Nicholas of Myra in Lycia
Hieromonk Theophylact (Belyanin), who labored at the Pskov Caves Monastery, shared this story with me. The story made it into his manuscript collection “It Happened in Our Time.”
It happened in the 1970s. There was a Soviet family loudly celebrating the birthday of the father of the household. As is the custom, they were celebrating with a feast, toasts, and libations. And in the midst of all the merry-making, they somehow forgot about the father’s five-year-old son. He was twirling around the guests, climbed under the table, and suddenly, unbeknownst to his parents, crawled out onto the balcony, which was off limits for him. Their apartment was on the eighth floor.
In the swing of things, the boy was finally missed. They looked for him, but he was nowhere. He wasn’t in the living room, or in the kitchen, or in the hallway. The door was locked, so he couldn’t leave. The parents darted for the open balcony door, but he wasn’t on the balcony either! In horror, the father looked below with a shudder, expecting to see the body of his son sprawled out on the ground—but his Sasha was quietly playing on the grass. Not waiting for the elevator, the father dashed down the stairs, jumped outside, picked up his son, hugged him, and asked,
“Sasha, how did you get here?”
“Papa, you won’t yell?”
“You know, I was bored, so I went out on the balcony and was looking down below, and it was so interesting. I leaned over, and suddenly I was flying down. But while I was flying, some old grandpa caught me.”
“What grandpa? Your grandpa was sitting with us.”
“No, a different one, so handsome, with a short white beard. He was dressed like in church. He carried me down, put me down on the grass, and disappeared.”
The father didn’t know what to think. It didn’t fit at all into his materialistic head. It was against all laws of physics, and especially the law of gravity. But his son was there, alive, and he couldn’t pass through the locked door! It was absolutely against all laws.
To the delight of all the guests, the father carried Sasha home, sat him on his lap, and didn’t take his eyes off of him. Suddenly the son said, “Pop, I remember who this grandpa looked like.”
At first the father didn’t understand: “What grandpa?”
“Come on! The one that saved me.”
Sasha took his dad to his grandmother’s room. There he clambered up onto the stool and pointed his finger at the ancient icon of St. Nicholas in the modest prayer corner:
“Papa, it’s him!”
Deacon Vladimir Vasilik
Translated by Jesse Dominick – https://orthochristian.com/109288.html
St Nicholas Archbishop of Myra and the First Ecumenical Council
St. Nicholas Archbishop of Myra, a knight of the powerful Faith, by Saint Nikolai Velimirovič
St. Nicholas Archbishop of Myra the Wonderworker, “I come from very far away—from Lycia’s Myra”
Childhood and early life of St. Nicholas Archbishop of Myra
https://iconandlight.wordpress.com/2016/12/05/9907/Apolytikion of Nicholas the Wonderworker in the Fourth Tone
A rule of faith are you, and an icon of gentleness, and a teacher of self-control. And to your flock this was evident, by the truth of your life and deeds. You were humble and therefore you acquired exalted gifts, treasure in heaven for being poor. O Father and Hierarch St. Nicholas, intercede with Christ our God, and entreat Him to save our souls.
Tone IV: Spec. Mel.: “As one valiant among the martyrs …”:
The grace of God the Spirit * having anointed thee with divine myrrh * set thee to preside as bishop for the people of Myra, * and perfumed with the myrrh of thy virtues * the ends of the world, O most sacred one, * for by thy sweetly spiritual prayers * thou dost ever drive away the fetid passions. * Wherefore, we praise thee with faith ** and celebrate thy most sacred memory, O Nicholas
Being here, and appearing in dreams, O Nicholas, * thou didst save those who were about to be unjustly put to death, * in that thou art compassionate, * as one right loving, * as a most fervent deliverer, as a true intercessor * for those who with faith ask of thee defense, * O most sacred father, * thou fellow citizen with the angels, ** peer of the apostles and prophets.
Tone 2. When from the Tree.
Bodily you dwelt in Myra, but anointed with spiritual myrrh you were revealed truly to be myrrh, Holy Nicolas, High Priest of Christ; and with myrrh you make fragrant the faces of those who with faith and love ever celebrate your most revered memory, as you free them, Father, from disasters, dangers and afflictions by your prayers to the Lord.
Truly you have been revealed, like your name, as a mighty Victory [Niki] of the faithful People [Laos] in trials, Holy Nicolas, true servant of Christ; for invoked everywhere you come swiftly to help those who with love take refuge under your protection; for appearing night and day by faith, you save them from trials and calamities.
Holy Nicolas, sacred herald of Christ, you are a great and fervent helper for those in dangers, those on land and those who sail, those far off and those nearby, a most compassionate and mighty intercessor. Therefore assembled together we cry, ‘Intercede to the Lord that we may be rescued from every calamity’.
Glory. Tone 6.
Lovers of feasts, let us assemble and with songs of praise hymn the ornament of Hierarchs, the glory of the Fathers, the fount of wonders and greatest helper of believers, as we say, Hail guard, august leader and immovable pillar of the people of Myra. Hail brightly shining beacon, who irradiate with your wonders all the ends of the earth. Hail divine joy of the afflicted, and most fervent defender of the wronged. And now, all-blessed Nicolas, do not cease to intercede with Christ God on behalf of those who ever honour with faith and love your joyous and all-festive memory.
At the Liti we sing Idiomels.
Man of God and faithful servant and steward of his mysteries, and man of the desires of the Spirit, living monument and breathing image, with wondering admiration the Church of Myra has received you as a divine treasure and intercessor for our souls.
At the Aposticha. Prosomia. Mode pl. 1. Rejoice .
Rejoice, pure habitation wherein * the Holy Trinity made its dwelling, most sacred mind, * the Church’s unshaken pillar, and the believers’ support, * for you are the help of all who are oppressed. * O Star that at all times dispels the gloom of adversities * and of temptations by the radiance of your prayers * that are well received, holy Hierarch Nicholas, * calm haven wherein those who meet the turbulent storms of life * and are surrounded by tempests escape for refuge and hence are saved. * To Christ pray with fervor, * holy father, that great mercy be given to our souls.
Glory. – From Menaion -Mode pl. 2.
O man of God and loyal servant and minister of the Lord, man of holy desires, chosen vessel, pillar and foundation of the Church of Christ, and inheritor of the Kingdom, be not silent in calling out to the Lord on our behalf.
Both now. Prefestal. Tone 6.
Virgin without bridegroom, where have you come from? Who begot you? And who is your mother? How do you carry the Creator in your arms? How was your womb not corrupted? We see great marvels have come to pass on earth, All-holy, and we make ready in advance that which fits your need: the Cave from the earth; and we ask heaven to provide the Star; and Magi are advancing from the eastern regions of the earth towards the west, to look on the salvation of mortals being suckled as a babe.