Our St. Nicholas story shall go on into eternity, because it is the miraculous work of the Lord. Indeed, “It is the Lord’s doing.” Indeed, “I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.”
Father Among the Saints, Nicholas, Archbishop of Myra in Lycia, December 6
For many reasons, St. Nicholas is one of the most venerated saints in the whole Orthodox Christian Church. He was the Archbishop of Myra in Lycia (modern day Turkey) during the fourth century. St. Nicholas is also popularly called the “Wonder-worker,” due to the many miracles attributed to his intercession throughout the ages. However, his greatness lies more in his Christian life example. He was a living martyr for the faith, suffering persecution under the Emperor Diocletian. He was also a defender of the faith. It is a historically recorded fact that he attended and upheld the Orthodox faith against Arius during the First Ecumenical Council at Nicea. This is why we commemorate him every Thursday, along with the Holy Apostles of Christ, for he upheld the truth of the “One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church.” His greatness lies also in his compassionate humility. The best example of this tells how he secretly gave of his own wealth to provide the dowry for three poor sisters, thus sparing them from slavery or prostitution. Furthermore, all generations have acknowledged his successful pastoral and episcopal leadership. St. Nicholas is a reminder to us that our Orthodox bishops likewise have preserved the same apostolic faith which Saint Nicholas possessed. They must profess three times the Orthodox faith in public at their consecration and uphold it throughout the execution of their office.
The traditional icon of St. Nicholas depicts a vision he had, both the night before his episcopal ordination and during the Nicean Council. St. Nicholas beheld Christ handing him the Book of the Gospels, while the Theotokos placed the episcopal omophorion(bishop’s stole) on his shoulders. When we come into the Cathedral, we stand before the icons of Christ, the Theotokos and St. Nicholas in faith and worship of the Holy Triune God. As our Cathedral is – and should be – the mother church and example to all the Antiochian Orthodox in the Southland, so we see in St. Nicholas a model for our faith, our life, and our Christian leadership. He is our patron and intercessor:
Troparion of Saint Nicholas: