Tag Archives: St Nicholas

St Nicholas Day


Blessed feast day of St Nicholas!


Thy just works have shown Thee to thy flock as an example of faith, an image of meekness and a teacher of abstinence. By humility Thou didst achieve exaltation, and by meekness, riches. O Father Bishop Nicholas, intercede with Christ our God to save our souls.

(Troparion for St. Nicholas)

St Nicholas

An illustration of St. Nicholas, the Wonderworker, Archbishop of Myra in Lycia whose feast we celebrate today.

St. Nicholas is the patron saint of the Ruthenian Greek Catholic Church in the United States, and protector of our children. Traditionally, before bed the prior night, children would leave their shoes out and upon waking on December 6th they would find them filled with treats left by the saint from the night before. This is a custom observed by many East Slavs throughout the world.

In the illustration St. Nicholas is depicted feeding the poor while wearing the vestments of a Byzantine bishop, notably the omophorion, epigonation, and mitre. The mitre which is topped by a cross, and resembling an imperial crown, was not worn by bishops until after the fall of Constantinople; however, this is how the saint is traditionally depicted in Byzantine iconography.

(Artwork by Yosyf Bokshai, 1922; h/t MW)

Saint Nicholas

St Nicholas, Turkish mosaic.jpgWe humbly implore your mercy, Lord: protect us in all dangers through the prayers of the Bishop Saint Nicholas, that the way of salvation may lie open before us.

Today’s saint restores the human dignity to his people and brings supernatural light to them, that is, he carries Jesus Christ to others.

Most people today have lost sight of who the real Nicholas is: he moves from being a bishop, one who offers the Divine Liturgy, wonder-worker, and a man of great charity in his teaching truth and helping the poor. We recognize in Saint Nicholas today not a man love and adherence to Christ but someone who represents insipidity. Nicholas is far from the commercial mindset. Hopefully we can target the reality and sweep away silliness.

Two Benedictines who blog give a little more insight into Saint Nicholas: Dom David and Dom Mark Daniel.

Saint Nicholas

St Nicholas GBellini.jpg


The liturgical memorial of Saint Nicholas observed today is an opportunity to reflect on our reliance on others as we go onto the Lord as a community, people who have regard for another. The sainted bishop Nicholas of Myra (Turkey) reminds us of our reception of unmerited grace given by God.

Let us pray for sailors, orphans and pawnbrokers. I’d also like to remember Melkite Bishop Nicholas Samra on his feast day.

The Church prays…
We humbly implore your mercy, Lord: protect us in all dangers through the prayers of the Bishop Nicholas, that the way of salvation may lie open before us.
(RM 2011)

Saint Nicholas

St Nicholas Liberation of 3 Innocents Fra Angelico.jpg

O Holy Father Nicholas, the fruit of your good deeds has enlightened and delighted the hearts of the faithful. Who cannot admire your measureless patience and humility? And who cannot wonder at your graciousness to the poor? At your compassion for the afflicted? O Bishop Nicholas, you have divinely taught all things well. And now wearing your unfading crown, you intercede for our souls with Christ, our God.


(Vesperal antiphon, Byzantine)


About the author

Paul A. Zalonski is from New Haven, CT. He is a member of the Fraternity of Communion and Liberation, a Catholic ecclesial movement, and an Oblate of Saint Benedict. Contact Paul at paulzalonski[at]yahoo.com.
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