Дорога домой. Выпуск ДД-57а  [20дек06]

(Myra was a city and Lycia a province in what is present-day Turkey). "Святитель" [Hierarch] Nikolay [Nicholas] (+343), even in childhood he showed the special signs of grace which were upon him. He loved Holy Scripture, Church, praying and reading books. His uncle, the bishop of the city of Patar, seeing his special talents, ordained him a priest. Soon after this the parents of "святитель" Nikolay died, and all their property which was left after them, he distributed to the poor. He liked to distribute charity and to help in secret. There was a well-known case when he helped an impoverished merchant to settle his three daughters.
    Being a priest, he travelled to Palestine, to pray at the holy places and wished to live in solitude and become an ascetic.
    It so happened, that during his travels he arrived at the city of Myra. At that time their bishop died. Then the bishops of the neighboring churches gathered for the election of a new bishop. To one of them, in a dream, there was a revelation that the priest who will come first to the church the next morning, before everybody, should be selected. St.Nikolay, having arrived at that city on the eve, rose at midnight, according to his custom, for prayers and then hurried to the church. Here they announced to him about the Divine selection.
    In the position of a bishop "Святитель" [Hierarch] Nikolay was especially distinguished by his mildness, humility and "незлобием" [absence of any malice]. The doors of his modest dwelling were open all day for anybody requiring his advice.
    During the time of emperor Diocletian (284-305) the Church was being persecuted. The churches were being destroyed and the Divine Service books were burned; bishops and priests jailed and tortured. "Святитель" [Hierarch] Nikolay in these difficult times supported in his flock in their faith, loudly and openly preaching God's name, for which he was jailed, were he continued to strengthen the faith among the prisoners. The successor of Diocletian "Галерий" [Galerius] ended the persecutions. "Святитель" [Hierarch] Nikolay when released from jail returned as a bishop to his flock. Together with other holy fathers he participated in the First Ecumenical Council in "Никея" (Nicea), in 325, in which the first half of the Creed was developed and was especially against "арианской ереси" [Arian heresy].
    Upon his return from "Никея" [Nicea], "святитель" [Hierarch] continued to govern the Church. He was mild and soft spoken, and took care of everybody like a good father.
    The governor of Myra in Lycia under the influence of malicious people had unfairly condemned three citizens to death. Some dwellers of the city of Myra came to "святитель" [Hierarch] and told him about this. "Святитель" [Hierarch] Nikolay hurried to the city and, having come to the square, saw that the condemned men with their hands tied were already lying on the ground, and the executioner was already holding the sword, to cut off their heads. He took away the sword from the executioner, untied the innocents and lifted them from the ground. After this he explained to the governor the error in judgement of his court and convinced him to annul the verdict.
    "Святитель" [Hierarch] Nikolay died at very old age (December 6th, 343) and was buried in the Myra cathedral. Later (1087) his relics were moved to the city of Bari, in Italy where they remain to this day.
    "Святитель" [Hierarch] Nikolay is known in the whole world, in many countries and peoples. After the Mother of God, he is the most beloved saint of Russian people. In Russia (before 1917) there are many cathedrals, monasteries and churches dedicated to his holy name. Probably, there is not a single city without St.Nicolas's church.
    The memory of Saint Nikolay, Archbishop of Myra of Lycia, the Miracle Worker, is observed on December 6/19th, and also on the day of the transfer of his "мощи" [relics] to the city of Bari, in Italy, on May 9/22th.

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Святитель Николай, Чудотворец, архиепископ Мир Ликийский.
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