Among the many saints commemorated during the church year, certainly the Holy Hierarch Nicholas has a special place in the soul of every Christian. When we were children, we waited for Father Nicholas to leave us a gift in our boots. Later we learned the story of the Holy Hierarch and began to understand the example given by his life of humility, service of neighbor, and defense of the Orthodox Faith. The troparion of his Feast describes it this way: The truth of things hath revealed thee to thy flock as a rule of faith, an icon of meekness, and a teacher of temperance; for this cause, thou hast achieved the heights by humility, riches by poverty. O Father and Hierarch Nicholas, intercede with Christ God that our souls be saved.
Having grown up in a Christian family, St. Nicholas learned the ways of the Church from childhood, not only through education, but also having a special call from God, as we see in the story about how he fasted even from his mother’s breast. The troparion says that the Lord Himself showed him to be a teacher of temperance. To his zeal for holy things he added the knowledge of Scripture and other useful writings, all under the tutelage of his Uncle Nicholas, Bishop of Patara in the
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A renowned miracle worker during his life, St. Nicholas has continued to live up to his reputation after passing into heaven, hearing and answering the prayers of those who request his help with tears. Thus, the Old Man who brings gifts to children became the Saint who performs miracles for those who are victimized and saddened by the troubles of the times.
Let us, too, pray and ask St. Nicholas to send us a useful gift. And then let us not forget to thank him and to add a prayer to his prayers for the salvation of our souls.