Saint Nicholas the Wonderworker
Saint Nicholas was a child of God from a young age, being a miraculous answer to the prayers of his barren parents. Having given birth to the baby Nicholas, his mother was immediately healed from an illness, foretelling of the great future of the Saint. At his baptism, the new born stood for three hours in the font without any help, thereby honouring the Holy Trinity. As a baby, he would not accept milk from his mother on Wednesdays and Fridays, honouring the fasts of the Church. As a young boy, Nicholas thrived on studying the Holy Scriptures, spending his whole day inside Church, and at night he would read spiritual books. When he came of age, Nicholas was ordained a reader and then elevated to the Priesthood because of his excelling virtue. The Saint served his people with much fervour, never overlooking the needy and poor who came to him, to whom he distributed his whole inheritance. Saint Nicholas once heard of an extremely poor man who was considering selling his daughters’ bodies in order for them to have food on the table. Extremely saddened by this, the Saint took it upon himself at night to secretly visit the house and throw a sack of gold through the window, thus enabling the man to marry off all three of his daughters to honourable men. The Saint’s charitable works such as this were always done in secret, and thus giving birth to the legend of Santa Claus. Throughout his life, Saint Nicholas performed many and various miracles, the most famous one being the calming of a storm while he and other passengers were on board, saving everybody from death. For this reason, Saint Nicholas is considered the patron saint of those travelling by sea. Travelling to Jerusalem, the Saint wished to devote his life to God through monasticism in the wilderness, but a divine Voice told him to return to his home town in Myra to serve his people. Through divine revelation, Saint Nicholas was chosen as Archbishop of Myra and continued his strict asceticism and love for the poor in this role. Having been imprisoned by Emperor Diocletian, Saint Nicholas encouraged and preached to the imprisoned. After the rise of Emperor Constantine, Saint Nicholas was released, and in 325 AD, he participated in the Fist Ecumenical Council, being an ardent defender of the faith. So great are the works of the Saint that it is almost impossible to record them all. Saint Nicholas lived to a great old age, serving his flock with love, justice, and charity, performing countless miracles both before and after his death, earning him a world-wide name for Christians to call upon in times of need.
Κανόνα πίστεως καὶ εἰκόνα πραότητος, ἐγκρατείας Διδάσκαλον, ἀνέδειξέ σε τῇ ποίμνῃ σου, ἡ τῶν πραγμάτων ἀλήθεια· διὰ τοῦτο ἐκτήσω τῇ ταπεινώσει τὰ ὑψηλά, τῇ πτωχείᾳ τὰ πλούσια. Πάτερ Ἱεράρχα Νικόλαε, πρέσβευε Χριστῷ τῷ Θεῷ, σωθῆναι τὰς ψυχὰς ἡμῶν.
Ἦχος γ’. Ἡ Παρθένος σήμερον.
Ἐν τοῖς Μύροις Ἅγιε, ἱερουργὸς ἀνεδείχθης· τοῦ Χριστοῦ γὰρ Ὅσιε, τὸ Εὐαγγέλιον πληρώσας, ἔθηκας τὴν ψυχήν σου ὑπὲρ λαοῦ σου, ἔσωσας τοὺς ἀθώους ἐκ τοῦ θανάτου· διὰ τοῦτο ἡγιάσθης, ὡς μέγας μύστης Θεοῦ τῆς χάριτος.
Troparion — Tone 4
In truth you were revealed to your flock as a rule of faith, / an image of humility and a teacher of abstinence; / your humility exalted you; / your poverty enriched you. / Hierarch Father Nicholas, / entreat Christ our God / that our souls may be saved.
Kontakion — Tone 3
You revealed yourself, O saint, in Myra as a priest, / For you fulfilled the Gospel of Christ / By giving up your soul for your people, / And saving the innocent from death. / Therefore you are blessed as one become wise in the grace of God.