On this date, December 6, 343 A.D in Myra, Lycia, a man largely dedicated to the Lord has passed. He was one of the greatest and kindest friends to ask for. Nicholas, also known as Nikolaos the Wonderworker, started his close relationship with God at a young age. He was later raised by his uncle after his parents fatally passed. His uncle, also named Nicholas, shaved his head and made him as a reader and soon as a priest where his faith and love of God grew even stronger. Perhaps my friend is best known for his secret gift giving, such as putting coins in shoes of those who left them out for him. That seemed to always give me a laugh. Or maybe he is known for one of his many generous deeds. Once I heard the story of a citizen of Patara had lost all his money, and had to support three daughters who could not find husbands because of their poverty. So the wretched man was going to give them over to prostitution. I told this story to Nicholas, who thereupon took a bag of gold and, anonymously, threw it in an open window of the man's house. Here was a dowry for the eldest girl and she was soon married. At different times Nicholas did the same for the second and third daughter. The last time the father was on the look-out, recognized his kind Samaritan and overwhelmed him with his gratitude.
Coming to the city of Myra when the clergy and people of the province were in session to elect a new bishop, St. Nicholas was called upon by God as the man they should choose. This was at the time of the persecutions at the beginning of the fourth century. As he was the chief priest of the Christians of this town and preached the truths of faith with a holy liberty, the divine Nicholas, along with me, was taken by the magistrates, tortured, and then thrown into prison with many other Christians. But when the great and religious Constatine assumed the imperial thrown of the Romans the prisoners were released from jail and with them was Nicholas. . He was the guardian of his people as well in spiritual concerns. The governor Eustathius had taken a bribe to condemn to death three innocent men. When their time for execution appeared Nicholas came to the place, held back the hands of the executioner, and released the prisoners. This was absolutely amazing. The courage he showed was very moving.
One of the greatest miracles I remember was during a great famine that the Bishop of Myra experienced; a ship in the port at anchor was loaded with wheat for the Emperor in Byzantium. Bishop invited the sailors to unload a part of the wheat to help in time of need. The sailors at first did not agree to this request, because the wheat had to be weighed correctly and delivered to the Emperor. Only when Nicholas promised them that they would not lose any cargo of wheat for their thought, the sailors agreed. I for one thought they would never agree to this! When they arrived later in Byzantium, they made a surprising find. The weight of the load had not changed. The removed wheat in Myra was even enough for two full years and could even be used for sowing. That absolutely astonished me! Nicholas was a great friend and I pray that one day he will be greatly appreciated for his kindness for all and generosity. One day maybe people will look back at him as a model for giving to others. For those who look for someone to follow, Nicholas is your guy.
I am a student at Our Lady of Perpetual Help School. I chose St. Nicholas to be my Saint because I believe he was a very generous man with a kind and compassionate heart. St. Nicholas also greatly loved the Lord and did everything in his name. I wish to be just as generous to others as he was. All of the great miracles he did really spoke to me that with God anything can happen. I would love to have his cheery character with me to remember why life is worth loving others and serving the Lord forever. The picture abova and to the left is an icon of St. Nicolas at the Church of St. Nicholas in Lipno Novgorod