St Nicholas, Wonderworker of Myra in Lycia: 10 Things 1. St Nicholas was a bishop in Myra, in the land of Lycia in the fourth century. This area is present day Anatolia (a part of modern day Turkey), on the South coast, in Asia Minor. St Paul preached here. 2. The name ?Nicholas¦ means ?victory of the people¦, or ?namesake of victory¦. This meaning is mentioned in some of the hymns of his service: As a true namesake of victory, / to the faithful people thou hast shown thyself / to be mighty amid perils, / O holy Nicholas, hierarch of Christ; / for whenever thou art invoked, / thou dost quickly hasten / to those who with love have recourse to thy protection. / For, appearing to the faithful by day and by night, // thou savest them from dangers and evil circumstances. (Vespers, Lord I have Cried) 3. We do not know exactly when St Nicholas was born, but he known to have died peacefully about (345-351). 4. There are many stories in many countries about St Nicholas. No doubt, some are myths. How can one know which is which? It stands to reason that our service for St Nicholas, which is very old, and has been used by countless saints and holy ones, would contain the accurate stories. 5. St Nicholas is know as the ?Myrrh streaming¦, because his relics have exuded sweet myrrh, and caused many healings. In our time, his relics abide in Bari, Italy. 6. St Nicholas is the most celebrated Saint other than the Apostles, the Most Holy Theotokos and John the Baptist. He is commemorated every week on Thursday (along with the Holy Apostles), when his troparion and kontakion are sung. 7. St Nicholas had the benefit of good parents. His parents, Theophannes and Nonna were very pious, and gave great alms because they were wealthy. One of his uncles was a bishop (also named Nicholas). 8. St Nicholas is known as a patron to the oppressed, especially prisoners. Also, travelers and sailors have traditionally had a great devotion to him. 9. St Nicholas, perhaps more than any other holy father, caused the defeat of Arius in the First Ecumenical Council. He is remembered for slapping Arius, who was expounding his heresy at the council with great eloquence. Nowadays, things are more defined, but at the time of the council, the Arian heresy was a real threat to the true Christian faith. Simply put, it posited that Jesus Christ was a creature, created by the Father, and having god-like qualities. Arius had many sympathizers, and excellent rhetoric was highly valued and influential in that day. Holy Nicholas could not bear to see Arius spewing his poison, so he slapped him and rebukes him. For this, he was removed form the council. The next day, the bishops planned to depose him, however, at night, This document is a list of ten (or more) things about a particular topic. More ?Ten Things¦ topics may be found at HYPERLINK "http://www.orthodox.net/10things" http://www.orthodox.net/10things . They are also posted to the blog ?Redeeming the Time¦ v HYPERLINK "http://www.orthodox.net/redeemingthetime" http://www.orthodox.net/redeemingthetime . Look under the category ?10things¦. Use anything you wish, but please indicate authorship, with the URL.