Saint Nicholas the Wonderworker, Archbishop of Myra in Lycia, was glorified as a great Saint pleasing unto God. Everything about this venerated Holy You will learn from this article! The day of memory of St. Nicholas the Wonderworker:
- 6 (19) December — the day of the righteous repose;
- 9 (22) may — day of arrival of the relics in Bari, Italy;
- July 29 (11 August) — Nativity of St. Nicholas;
- Each weekday Thursday.
The Saint Nicholas the Wonderworker: life
He was born in the city of Patara of the Lycian region (on the southern coast of Asia minor Peninsula), was the only son of pious parents Theophanes and Nonna, who gave a vow to dedicate him to God. The fruit of a long prayer of his childless parents, the infant Nicholas from the very day of his birth revealed to people the light of his future glory as a Wonderworker. His mother, Nonna, after giving birth was immediately healed from illness. A baby in the baptismal font stood on his feet three hours, supported by no one, giving that honor to the Holy Trinity. Saint Nicholas from his infancy began a life of fasting, he accepted milk from his mother on Wednesdays and Fridays, only once, after the evening prayers of his parents.
From his childhood Nicholas thrived in the study of Divine Scripture; by day he did not leave the temple, and by night prayed, and read books, creating in himself a worthy dwelling of the Holy spirit. His uncle, Bishop Nicholas patorski, enjoying spiritual successes and the high piety of his nephew, put it in a reader, and then elevated Nicholas to the priesthood, making him his assistant and entrusting him to speak the teachings of the flock. Serving the Lord the youth was fervent of spirit, and in his proficiency with questions of faith he was like an elder, which aroused the wonder and deep respect of believers.
Constantly truggys and sober, and staying in constant prayer, presbyter Nicholas showed great charity to the flock, coming to the aid of the suffering, and gave all his possessions to the poor. Having learned about the bitter need and poverty of a certain formerly rich inhabitant of his city, St. Nicholas saved from great sin. Having three grown daughters, the despairing father considered to give them to fornication for the salvation from hunger. The Prelate, grieving over perishing sinner, in the night secretly threw him out the window three sacks with gold and thus saved the family from falling into spiritual destruction. In bestowing charity, Saint Nicholas always strove to do this secretly and to conceal his good deeds.
Going on a pilgrimage to the Holy places in Jerusalem, the Bishop of patorski handed over the management of the flock to Saint Nicholas, who fulfilled this obedience carefully and with love. When the Bishop returned, he in turn asked for a blessing on the journey to the Holy Land. Along the way the Saint predicted the coming of a storm threatening the ship sinking, for he saw the devil itself, ushedshego to the ship. At the entreaty of the despairing pilgrims, he was umaril your prayer. His prayer was delivered common one boatbuilder, a sailor fell from a mast to his death.
Reaching the ancient city of Jerusalem, St. Nicholas went up to Calvary, thanked the Savior of the human race, and visited all the Holy places, worshiping and praying to God. A night on mount Sion opened by themselves locked doors of the Church before arriving great pilgrim. Beating the shrines connected with the earthly service of the son of God, Saint Nicholas decided to withdraw into the desert, but was stopped by the Divine voice, womanship him to return home.
After returning to Lycia, the Holy, striving for the silent life, joined the brotherhood of the monastery named Holy Sion. But the Lord again announced another way, awaiting him: “Nicholas, here is not the field where you have to bring Me the expected fruit; but turn and go in peace, and praised be you My Name.” In the vision the Lord gave him the gospel in an expensive salary, and the blessed virgin – Saint.
And indeed, upon the death of the Archbishop he was elected Bishop of Myra after one of the bishops of the Cathedral, which tackled the issue of election of a new Archbishop, the vision was set the elect of God, Holy Nicholas. Called to shepherd the Church of God Bishop, Saint Nicholas remained a great ascetic, appearing to his flock as an image of gentleness, kindness and love for people.
This was particularly precious for the Lycian Church during the persecution of Christians under the Emperor Diocletian (284-305). Bishop Nicholas, locked up in prison together with other Christians, sustained them and exhorted them to bravely endure the fetters, punishment and torture. He himself is the Lord preserved her unharmed. On the reign of the Holy equal to the apostles Constantine, Saint Nicholas was restored to his flock, which joyfully received back their guide and intercessor.
Despite his great gentleness of spirit and purity of heart, Holy Hierarch Nicholas was a zealous and ardent warrior of the Church of Christ. Ratarstvo with spirits, the Saint made the rounds of the pagan temples and shrines in the city of Myra and its surroundings, shattering the idols and turning the temples to dust. In the year 325 Saint Nicholas was a participant in the first OEcumenical Council, accepted the Nicene creed and fought with the saints Sylvester, Pope of Rome, Alexander of Alexandria, Spyridon Trimifuntsky and other from the 318 Holy fathers of the Cathedral of the heretic Arius.
In the heat of reproof Saint Nicholas, plamenevski jealousy to the Lord, even zausel false teachers, for this he was deprived of his Episcopal omophorion and placed under arrest. However, several of the Holy fathers shared a vision revealing that the Lord Himself and the mother of God dedicated to the Holy Bishop, giving him the gospel and omophorion. The fathers of the Council knew that the audacity of the Saint was pleasing to God, glorified the Lord, and the Saint restored to the dignity of Bishop. Returned to his diocese, the Saint brought her peace and blessings, sowing the word of Truth, stopping at the very root of karavayka and vain philosophizing, denouncing the inveterate heretics and doctoring the fallen and those who have departed in ignorance. He was truly the light of the world and the salt of the earth, because his life was light and his word was mixed with the salt of wisdom.
Even during his life the Saint worked many miracles. Of these, the greatest fame brought the Saint’s deliverance from death of three men unjustly condemned by a greedy town Governor. The Saint boldly went up to the executioner and took hold of his sword, already suspended over the heads of the condemned. The mayor, denounced by Saint Nicholas in wrong-doing, repented and begged his forgiveness. This was attended by three generals sent by the Emperor Constantine to Phrygia. They did not suspect that they soon will have to seek the intercession of St. Nicholas, as they had been vilely slandered before the Emperor and condemned to death.
Appearing in sleep to the Holy equal to the apostles Constantine, Saint Nicholas called on him to release the unjustly condemned military leaders who, while in prison, prayerfully called to the aid of the Saint. Many other miracles he did, for many years striving in his Ministry. Through the prayers of the Saint, the city of Myra was rescued from a terrible famine. Appeared in a dream to one Italian merchant and left him in the pledge of three gold coins that he found in his hand, waking up in the morning, asked him to sail to Myra and sell the corn. Once saved, the Saint of drowning in the sea, deduced from captivity and imprisonment.
In extreme old age, St Nicholas peacefully expired to the Lord (+345-351). His venerable relics were preserved undecayed in the local Cathedral Church and flowed with curative myrrh, from which many received healing. In 1087 his relics were transferred to the Italian city of Bari, where they rest even now (may 22, B. C., may 9 S. S.).
The name of the great God-pleaser, Holy Hierarch and Wonderworker Nicholas, a speedy helper and intercessor for all, attracted to him, became famous all over the world, many countries and peoples. In Russia, many cathedrals, monasteries and churches consecrated in his name. There is perhaps no single city without St. Nicholas Church.
In the name of St. Nicholas was baptised by the Patriarch Photius, in 866 year Kyiv Prince Askold, the first Russian Prince-the Christian ( † 882). Over the grave of Askol’d, the Holy equal to the apostles Olga (feast day: 11 July) erected the first in the Russian Church the Church of St. Nicholas in Kiev. Primary cathedrals were dedicated to St Nicholas at Izborsk, Ostrov, Mozhaisk, and Zaraisk. At Novgorod the Great, one of the main temples of the city – St. Nicholas Church (XII), later became a Cathedral.
Nikolsky famed and venerable churches and monasteries in Kiev, Smolensk, Pskov, Toropets, Galich, Archangelsk, Veliky Ustyug and Tobolsk. Moscow was famous for dozens of churches dedicated to the Saint Nicholas monastery, three were in the Moscow diocese: the Nikolo-Greek (Staryi) – in China town, Nikolo-Perervinsky and Nikolo-Ugreshsky. One of the main towers of Moscow Kremlin called Nikol.
Most were placed in the temples of the Sainted commercial squares by Russian merchants, sailors and explorers, who regarded Nicholas the patron Saint of wandering across land and sea. They were sometimes the people naming “Nikoly Wet.” Many village churches in Russia were dedicated to the Wonderworker Nicholas, reverently venerated by peasants as a merciful intercessor before the Lord for all the people in their work. And St. Nicholas did not leave his protection of the Russian land. Ancient Kiev preserves the memory about the miraculous rescue of a drowned Saint baby. The great Wonderworker, hearing the mournful prayers of parents who lost their only heir, the night took baby out of the water, revived him and placed in the choir of the Church of Hagia Sophia in front of his wonderworking image. Here were found this morning rescued a baby happy parents, glorified with many of the people of St. Nicholas.
Many wonderworking icons of Saint Nicholas appeared in Russia and came also from other countries. There is the ancient Byzantine embordered image of the Saint (XII), brought to Moscow from Novgorod, and the large icon written in the XIII century by a Novgorod master.
Two depictions of the Wonderworker are especially distributed in the Russian Church: St. Nicholas of Zaraisk – length, with blessing right hand and with gospel (this image was brought to Ryazan in 1225 by the Byzantine Princess Eupraxia, who became the spouse of Ryazan Prince Theodore, and died in 1237 with her husband and infant-son during the invasion of Batu Khan), and St. Nicholas mozhajskij – also in growth, with a sword in his right hand and a city left in memory of the miraculous rescue, through the prayers of the Saint, the city of Mozhaisk from enemy attack. It is impossible to list all the graced icons of St. Nicholas. Every Russian city, every Church blessed with this icon in the prayers of the Saint.
See also – Dictionary “Pravmir” – St. Nicholas the Wonderworker
Icons, frescoes and mosaics with the image of Nicholas the Wonderworker
Holy Tradition, part of which is the art of the Church accurately preserved for centuries, the portrait features of St. Nicholas the Wonderworker. Its appearance, the icons always distinguished by a strong personality, so even inexperienced in the field of iconography people easily recognize the image of this Saint.
Local veneration of the Archbishop of Myra in Lycia Nicholas began shortly after his death, and the veneration throughout the Christian world issued during the IV — VII centuries. However, in connection with the iconoclastic persecution, the iconography of the Saint is quite late, only in X — XI centuries. The oldest image of the Saint in the monumental painting is in the Roman Church of Santa Maria Antiqua.
The image of Saint Nicholas (in height or waist) was present in decorations of the Byzantine and old Russian churches, where he could fit both separately and in the composition “the rite of Episcopal” in the altar. The Holy right hand blesses, and the left, often covered with phelonion and omophorion, holds a gospel book. Vestments are chasuble, cuffs, phelonion, which is visible to the Mace, and the omophorion. The ancient saints are usually portrayed in the felony, not the sakkos, since the fourteenth century the right to wear the sakkos had only the Patriarch of Constantinople. Fresco and mosaic images of St. Nicholas are preserved in a Constantinople Cathedral.Sofia, Kyiv St. Sophia Cathedral, the Church of the Dormition in Daphne, in the St. George Cathedral in Old Ladoga and in many other temples.
The oldest known iconographic images of the Saint of Myra — the image of Nicholas with the Savior, and the elect saints on the margins of the meeting of the Sinai monastery of St. Catherine. This icon is remarkable that the gesture of blessing hands. Such a gesture can be described as pointing to the gospel, or “gesture speech”.
On many icons at the sides of the Saint (in the background or in medallions) are the images of Christ and the virgin Mary, returns to St. Nicholas the gospel and the omophorion — the attributes of the Episcopal dignity. This image of the miraculous vision of the former participants of the first OEcumenical Council at Nicaea and showed that the Saint was deprived of Episcopal dignity and imprisoned unjustly. Image “the Nicene wonder” is known for already icons of the XII century.
Russian translation of the life, made in the eleventh century, contains a description of the miracle that occurred in Kiev. Inadvertently drowned in the river a baby after a prayer of parents to the miracle worker, was found alive in the choir of St. Sophia Cathedral under the icon of St. Nicholas. Since then, this miraculous icon was venerated and called “Nikola Wet” because the baby was lying all wet, as if just out of water. Restoration research conducted in 1920-ies showed that stored in the Cathedral of the icon of “Nicholas the Wet” was written not earlier than the XIV century in Russia. Apparently, it was an honor list with the original image. Unfortunately, during the Second world war the icon was gone and was never found.
The story of another miraculous image of the Saint is connected with Novgorod. The legend says that the seriously ill Novgorod Prince Mstislav in the dream was Nicholas, and commanded to move from Kiev to Novgorod their way, made the Board round shape. In Ilmen-lake the Prince, the ambassadors caught in a storm and landed on the island of Lipno, waiting for the weather to continue the journey. On the fourth day saw a sail on the waves of the icon of St. Nicholas, which exactly matched the description. After the miraculous healing of Prince’s image was placed in St. Nicholas Cathedral in Yaroslav’s court. Hence the name of the icon “Nicola Dvariskiu”. Later on the island, where he found the image, was founded Lipinski the St. Nicholas monastery.
Icons “Nikola Mozhayskiy” known in Russia since the XV century and repeats the iconography of the famous wonder-working wooden statue, famous for patronage of the city of Mozhaisk. According to legend, during an enemy RAID, the defenders of the city of Myra was a Saint. He stood in the air over the Cathedral, keeping the blade raised up the sword in his right hand and his left hand — a model of a walled temple. Frightened by the vision of the enemy fled, and the inhabitants made a carved image of the Saint. I assume that this sculpture, Dating from the end of the XIV century, now kept in the Tretyakov gallery.
About the origins of such iconography carved statues (and later icons) in science there are different opinions. It was assumed that this iconographic type was a development of the ancient tradition of the image of “Nikola Zaraisk”. Some scholars considered this to be a Romanesque iconography, borrowed in Western Europe, where they were distributed to the militant image of the Saint with a sword in his hand. The appearance of the image is explained and the possible participation of Balkan craftsmen in construction in the XIV century St. Nicholas Cathedral in Mozhaisk. A. V. Ryndin has offered a convincing version of linking the appearance of this monument in Russia with the liturgical and ritual reforms of Metropolitan Cyprian and the Byzantine tradition of the veneration of the relics. This version connects the origin of the carved images with the sculpture of the Saint, nested Serbian king Uros in the beginning of XIV century in the Basilica in Bari and is intended for placement over the Shrine with the relics.
The image of St. Nicholas, Holy warrior, defending the Orthodox hail from foreign invaders, became especially popular in Russia, tormented in the XV — XVI centuries raids and wars. Sword and was interpreted as a military weapon, and as “the sword of the spirit which is the Word of God” (Eph. 6:17), which needs to insectsa sins. As the patron Saint of the city Saint Nicholas protect residents from all sin and adversity, in both the spiritual and physical.
The wide spread in Russia got the iconography, referred to as “Nicola Zaraisky”. The icons of this type portrays the growth with out-stretched to the sides with your hands. Right he blesses, his left hand holds the gospel. This composition reminds common in Christian art the image of the praying (Orans).
According to “the tale of Nikola zarais’ke”, the image in 1225 was transferred from Korsun to the limits of the Ryazan Principality, where he became famous for many miracles. During the devastating invasion of Batu in Ryazan land killed Prince Theodore, and his wife, Princess Eupraxia, not wanting to fall into the hands of the Tatars, rushed out from the tower and crashed — “saratica to death.” After the burial the family about the icons of St. Nicholas of Korsun, the image began to call Zarazsky or zaraysky, and the city received the name of “Zaraysk”.
Some created in Russia, the images of St. Nicholas do not represent any individual, a new iconography radically different from the previous one. These images fit well into the traditional scheme of the image. Famous miracles, such icon has received national acclaim and individual names, usually associated with the place of finding. Found in Vyatka region on the banks of the great river icon was renamed “Nikola Velikoretsky”, found in the Kaluga village Gostun — “Nikola Gostunsky”.
Read also – the Miracle of St. Nicholas (PHOTOS)
The feast day of St. Nicholas — may 22, December 19, 2018
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