Celebrated December 6
He was born at the turn of the fourth century in Asia Minor, possibly in the town of Patara in Lycia. Some say that his uncle was bishop of this city and that he served for a while as a monk in a monastery there.
It is likely that he suffered during the persecution of the Church prior to the Peace of Constantine. He was elected bishop of Myra and served there as a faithful pastor and possibly even attended the First Ecumenical Council of Nicea in 325.
Certainly, he vigorously opposed Arianism—so much so that the story is told of how he punched Arius at the Nicene Council! As bishop of Myra, a busy seaport town, he was busy in charitable work.
The story is told of how he anonymously gave three bags of gold to a needy family with three daughters who otherwise would have had to send the girls out to earn a dishonourable living on the streets.
He was a kindly and compassionate pastor to his flock and a model for hierarchs, so much so that, in the weekly calendar where each day is given a special liturgical theme, he shares every Thursday with the Apostles. He died in peace in the fourth century, one of the most beloved of the Church’s saints.
HYMNS OF THE SAINT
Apolytikion (Fourth Tone)
The truth of things hath revealed thee to thy flock as a rule of faith, an icon of meekness, and a teacher of temperance; for this cause, thou hast achieved the heights by humility, riches by poverty. O Father and Hierarch Nicholas, intercede with Christ God that our souls be saved.
Kontakion (Third Tone)
Saintly One, (St. Nicholas) in Myra you proved yourself a priest; for in fulfilling the Gospel of Christ, venerable One, you laid down your life for your people and saved the innocent from death. For this, you were sanctified as One learned in divine grace.
Read about the Legends and folklore….