Feast Day of St. Nicholas the Wonderworker; Orthodoxy venerates patron saint of sailors, children and students
The Church today venerates the memory of Nicholas the Wonderworker, Archbishop of Myra.
The saint lived during the reign of Constantine the Great, and reposed in 330 AD. After a pilgrimage in his youth to Jerusalem, he returned to Myra, and was ordained bishop. He became known for his abundant mercy, providing for the poor and needy, and delivering those who had been unjustly accused.
St. Nicholas is the patron of all travelers, and of seafarers and sailors in particular. As such, St. Nicholas’ Feast Day is a significant occasion for the global Greek shipping community and mariners plying the world’s seas.
A feature posted today on the Orthodoxia News Agency shows the small chapel of St. Nicholas, aboard the early 20th century armored cruiser Averoff, which today is a floating museum ship anchored permanently off southern Athens.
The warship proved undefeated in battle and unassailable through all the military conflicts that it participated up until World War II.
In a related development, a celebratory Great Vespers service was held at the ancient chapel of St. Nicholas, in extreme southwest Turkey, officiated by the Metropolitan of Myra, His Eminence Chrystostomos, and in the presence of several Fathers of the Holy and Great Monastery of Vatopedi, on Mt. Athos.
In extreme northeast Greece, two small islets located within the Porto Lagos lagoon host the Monastery of St. Nicholas and its dedicated chapel, connected with each other by a pedestrian bridge with another narrow bridge to the lagoon’s shoreline.
The picturesque and tranquil monastery, within sight of the northern Aegean, is an estate of the Holy and Great Monastery of Vatopedi.
During the Great Feast Day of St. Nicholas on Dec. 6, the pilgrimage site is a magnet for the faithful, monks and nuns from throughout the country.
A celebratory Great Vespers service on Thursday was officiated by the Very Reverend Archimandrite Ephraim, the Abbot of the Holy and Great Monastery of Vatopedi, in the presence of representatives of the Greek armed forces, police and the fire brigade.
A feature on the lagoon Monastery of St. Nicholas is posted today on the pages of the Orthodoxia news agency.
In Bucharest, the Patriarch of All Romania, His Beatitude Daniel, this week attended the premier of a children’s play on the life of St. Nicholas, held at the Patriarchate’s seat. The Patriarch referred to St. Nicholas as a friend and protector of children and students.