• 07 Dec 21

Dec 6 - “St. Nicholas, Wonderworker” © icon by Lewis Williams, OFS. Happy Feast Day St. Nick!

#saintnicholas #trinitystores

Artists represent the “Wonderworker” more than any other saint, with the exception of Mary, Mother of our Lord.  What made him so beloved, worldwide, these past 1700 years?  By the late middle ages, more than 400 churches were dedicated in his honor in England alone.  He is the patron of Russia and other countries, and patron of sailors, merchants, scholars, bakers, prisoners and children.  His remains, now in Bari, Italy, are incorrupt.  They ooze sweet-smelling myrrh that offers restoration of health.  This “manna of St. Nicholas” continues to flow today.

Unfortunately, of the many stories and miraculous legends of his life, few details are historically verifiable.  He was born at the turn of the 4th century in Patara, Asia Minor (now Turkey).  His parents nurtured in him a pursuit of piety, resulting in his being named bishop of nearby Myra, which was near the sea.  He condemned the Arian Heresy, which claimed that Christ was only a man, not both man and God.  During the Nicean Council of 325, he confronted the Bishop Arius on this issue, slapped him publicly, and was imprisoned as a result. Our Lord and His Mother appeared to him in prison, gained his release and the return of his bishopric.  Several others stories represent Nicholas’s intervention on the behalf of prisoners who were falsely accused.

His most famous gift-giving legend led to the tradition we now know as Santa Claus.  A man in Patara lost all his wealth and was unable to marry his three daughters, as they had no dowry.  Aware of the father’s dire need, Bishop Nicholas went to their home under cover of darkness and dropped a bag of gold through the open window on three separate occasions.  The fathers’ prayer was answered and his daughters were able to marry.   

In this icon, a gift to my daughter, St. Nicholas is depicted as bishop, his robe red with the “Fire of Charity.”  It is a “night icon”, symbolized in the green and purple of the background, representative of his late night gift giving.  He carries a bejeweled bible, indicating the riches contained therein.  His eyes shine with a fierceness that shows he is willing to fight to retain the only true wealth and yet reveals a grandfatherly love for his church and his people.   His right hand offers us the traditional orthodox blessing, his fingers forming the Greek letters IC XC, the name of Christ and his peace on you.

His feast day is December 6.

https://www.trinitystores.com/artwork/st-nicholas-wonderworker = 100 Gift Ideas.

https://trinity-stores.pixels.com/featured/st-nicholas-wonderworker-lwnww-lewis-williams-ofs.html = 100 More Products.