Saint Nicholas, the Wonderworker, Archbishop of Myra in Lycia is famed as a great saint pleasing unto God. He was born in the city of Patara in the region of Lycia (on the south coast of the Asia Minor peninsula), and was the only son of pious parents Theophanes and Nonna, who had vowed to dedicate him to God. Since Nicholas was a small child, he always studied Scripture; during the day, he would not leave church, and by night he prayed and read books, making himself truly a friend of God.
St. Nicholas was known for the many good things he did. One time, there was a man who had three daughters who needed money so he could buy food. The saint, learning of the man’s poverty secretly visited him one night and threw a sack of gold through the window. Since there was so much money, the man was able to buy food and give his daughters the money they would need when they grew up. However, St. Nicholas always strove to keep his good acts a secret.
Another time, St. Nicholas was going to go on a long trip on a huge boat. But shortly after he left, he had a feeling that a storm would come and sink the ship, and sure enough, the sky grew dark and cloudy and the ocean waters began to crash against the sides of the boat. Everybody was very scared, but St. Nicholas prayed to God, and the waves stopped beating the boat, and the sun came out from behind the clouds. His prayer was so strong that even a certain sailor of the ship who had fallen during the storm and was very hurt, was made better.
St. Nicholas was a very gentle priest who was very caring to those who needed him. Soon, he was made a bishop of his area, Lycia, and did everything he could to correct those who held the wrong beliefs about the church. And while he was a bishop, he continued to help those he could. He worked many other miracles and struggled many long years at his work. Through the prayers of the saint, soldiers were helped, and the city of Myra was rescued from a terrible food shortage.
Having reached old age, St. Nicholas peacefully fell asleep in the Lord. When he died, his body had a very sweet smell, and the myrrh which flowed from his body helped to heal sick people. The name of the great saint of God, the hierarch and wonderworker Nicholas, a quick helper for all who call on him, is famed in every corner of the earth, in many lands, and among many peoples. All over the world, there are many churches named after him. There is, perhaps, not a single city without a church named after him.
St. Nicholas, the bishop of Lycia, is the patron of travelers, and we pray to him for help from floods, poverty, or any misfortunes. He has promised to help those who remember his parents, Theophanes and Nonna.