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Saint Nicholas the Wonderworker, Bishop of Myra in Lycia
[St. Nicholas, Ecumenical Patriarchate]
St. Nicholas from the Great Church of Christ in Constantinople

The Apolytikion (Hymn) of St. Nicholas

An example of the Faith and a life of humility, as a teacher of abstinence you did inspire and lead your flock, and through the truthfulness of your deeds were exalted by greatness, through your humility uplifting all and by poverty gaining wealth. Father and hierarch Nicholas, intercede with Christ our God that our souls may be saved.

[St. Nicholas, Greek]
St. Nicholas, Greek. From the St. Isaac of Syria Skete site.


Welcome to the Saint Nicholas Page

The Saint Nicholas Page honors Saint Nicholas the Wonderworker, Bishop of Myra in Lycia, containing information and links to churches and other pages concerning this much-revered man of God. This page is centered on the Orthodox Christian understanding and teaching concerning Saint Nicholas.

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Who was Saint Nicholas?

Nicholas was the bishop of the Christian Church in the Asia Minor city of Myra (now Demre, Turkey) in the fourth century AD. He is beloved throughout the Orthodox Christian world for his kindness and help, both during his life and afterward. He is called "Wonderworker" (or "Miraculous" or "Miracle-Worker", Greek "thavmatourgos") for the miracles which he performed and which he still performs, by God's grace. Many accounts ofSaint Nicholas are available, both elsewhere on the World-Wide Web and at this site. In the Protestant West, where the invocation of saints was suppressed, Saint Nicholas became popularly known as Santa Claus.

In accordance with early Christian tradition, saints are remembered in the Orthodox Church on the date of their passing from this life into the next. Saint Nicholas is thus remembered on December 6 (which corresponds to Dec 19 if the parish uses the Julian calendar). Orthodox Christianity maintains that even though people are dead according to this life, that they are alive in the spiritual realm, and continue to pray for us now. Our "prayers to the saints" are actually requests that they pray for us, much as we ask believers who are still alive in the flesh to pray for us.

The remains of St. Nicholas now repose principally in Bari, Italy, having been transported there in 1087 A.D. after Myra fell to Islamic invaders. A fragrant liquid called "myrrh" still exudes from the relics. Miracles are performed even today through the intercessions of St. Nicholas. Turkey also claims to possess bones of Saint Nicholas.

The sites referenced here contain much more information about Saint Nicholas the Wonderworker. See below for introductory information on the sites, or go directly to the list of pages .

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Orthodox Christian sites about St. Nicholas

Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America.

The Greek Orthodox Archdiocese is under the spiritual direction of the Patriarch of Constantinople, in Istanbul, Turkey

Orthodox Church in America

The OCA is an autocephalous (self-headed) Orthodox church in communion with the bulk of Orthodox Christianity. It was granted independence by the Russian Orthodox Patriarchate.

Russian Orthodox Church

The Russian Orthodox Church was expressed in two primary parts for many years - one headed by the Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia, and the other administered by the Holy Synod of Bishops of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia. This split was precipitated by the difficulties of administering the far-flung missionary activity of the Russian church after the Bolshevik Revolution, and Communist government interference in the Church. By God's grace, this split has been repaired. See the Wikipedia article.

Antiochian Orthodox Church

The Antiochian Orthodox Church is led by the Patriarch of Antioch, located in Damascus, Syria.

American Carpatho-Rusyn Orthodox Diocese in the USA

The Carpatho-Rusyn (or Carpatho-Russian) is headquartered in Johnstown, Pennysylvania

Ukrainian Orthodox Church

When Russia accepted Christianity over 1000 years ago, Russia was ruled from what is now Kiev, Ukraine. Ukraine has a long history of attachment to our great saint, Nicholas.

Orthodox Page

Icons

From the early days of Christianity and throughout the Church's history, icons -- sacred paintings of sacred persons and holy scenes -- have been teaching aids and objects of veneration. Icons of Saint Nicholas are numerous. Every Orthodox Church that bears the name of Saint Nicholas has an icon of the saint displayed prominently at the front of the nave on the ikonostasion -- the icon screen, as seen in this view of the interior of Saint Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church, San Jose, California. The icon of Saint Nicholas is the second to the left of the center Royal Doors. The ikonostasion varies somewhat in Slavic (Russian, Serbian, Bulgarian) usage in that St. Nicholas is frequently portrayed, regardless of the patron of the church, reflecting their great devotion to Saint Nicholas. See a Russian Orthodox Iconostasis from The Russian Orthodox Cathedral of St. John the Baptist, Washington, D.C as an example.

A great many pictures of icons are viewable, so many that the links to them span several pages:


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Santa Claus

Saint Nicholas, revered as a saint, a bishop of a major city, and a real person by Eastern Orthodox, Byzantine Catholic and Roman Catholic Christians, entered into legend among the Protestants of Europe. Though reverence for the saints has deemphasized, neglected, despised, and even forbidden within Protestantism, the honoring of Saint Nicholas could not be suppressed. He emerged in the popular culture as Santa Claus , Saint Nick, Sinter Klaus, and other names. Always, he is a kindly man who gives gifts to others -- especially children -- during the Christmas season. Gradually, his gifts came to be given on Christmas eve rather than on the proper day for the celebration of Saint Nicholas, December 6.

One way to help spread the kindness of Saint Nicholas is to be involved in a toy drive during the Christmas season. One advocate of toy drives is SecretSanta.org. SecretSanta.org is a non-profit organization dedicated to providing Christmas to children who need it most. Working in partnership with hundreds of local organizations, SecretSanta.org helps promote, advocate, and enable holiday toy drives that support children in need.


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List of pages

These are the pages maintained on this site. Rather than wading through text, you may browse directly.

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Return to the St. Nicholas Page.

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Last modified January 4, 2011, Synaxis of the 70 Holy Apostles

Copyright ©1999-2011 Stephen Parsons.

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