Saint of the Day for Saturday, December 6th, 2014
St. Nicholas, called “of Bari”, Bishop of Myra (Fourth Century) 6 Dec. Feast day. The great veneration with which this saint has been honored for many ages and the number of altars and … continue reading
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From Wikipedia (OUR FREE ONLINE ENCYCLOPEDIA):
St. Nicholas of Myra
Our father among the saints Nicholas of Myra, Wonder-worker, was the archbishop of Myra in southern Asia Minor in the fourth century and is also the basis for the Santa Claus legends and imagery which accompany Christmas celebrations in much of the world. While widely honored and venerated, not only in the Orthodox Church, but throughout most Christian groups, little is known historically of the life of Nicholas. He is known to have been archbishop of Myra and he may have participated in the Council of Nicea in 325. In addition to being honored as the patron saint of many countries, notably Greece and Russia, and of cities, he is the patron of many occupational groups, most notably of sea-farers. St. Nicholas is commemorated by the Church on December 6, and also on May 9 (the transfer of his relics) and on July 29 (his nativity).
Life and tradition
By tradition, Nicholas born in the province of Lycia in the southern part of Asia Minor in the city of Patara to well-to-do parents. The date of his birth is not known. Having inherited his parents’ estate, he became known for his generous gifts to those in need. As a youth, he made pilgrimages to Palestine and Egypt. He was subsequently consecrated Archbishop of Myra as the fourth century began. He was imprisoned during the persecutions of Diocletian and released by Constantine after his ascension to emperor. Nicholas was noted for his defense of Orthodoxy against the Arians. He is reputed to have been present at the Council of Nicea, but his name does not appear among any documents from that era. He died in Myra on December 6 in a year uncertain, but between 342 and 352.
In time his fame in northern Europe as a saintly bishop began changing to that of a giver of gifts to children, usually done on December 6. As immigrants from the Germanic and Nordic lands settled in the United States the image of St. Nicholas, or “Sinterklaas,” as he is known among the Dutch, slowly changed to that of “Santa Claus” with little tie to the spirituality of Christianity.
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.
Troparion to St. Nicolas Правило веры (rule of faith) comp. by Nikolay Golovanov