19 December 2023
Every year, the winter holidays, beloved by all, are opened by the bright commemoration day of the great saint Nicholas, Archbishop of the city of Myra in Lycia, a wonderworker and God-pleaser.

This feast gives great joy to all believing hearts, no matter what problems and troubles befall us on our life path.

So why have pilgrims and worshippers been flocking to churches consecrated in honour of Saint Nicholas and to his icons for centuries? Why is this man, who lived in a foreign and faraway country in time immemorial, so dear and close to us?

The reason, I think, is Saint Nicholas’ active Christian love — a gift of God, which this saint was amazingly rich in. And so rich that he has not ceased to share it for many hundreds of years with all who are in trouble and danger, who are in great material or spiritual need, and who invoke his holy name with faith.

In the person of Saint Nicholas, we have a strong intercessor before the Throne of God and our ready helper, healer, deliverer, and comforter.

His life convincingly shows that the love of Christ is a mighty, life-giving, and creative force, for which nothing is impossible. It is not constrained by the boundaries of time and space. It is able to defeat any evil, destroy the matrix of the devil’s lies, rebuild our reality from scratch, return hope for a bright future, make us truly happy. We should be ready to let it into our hearts and give it a chance to act.

We need this force now more than ever!

Recalling the works and feats, wonders and instructions of our ‘ready helper’, Saint Nicholas, let us ask him today that the love of Christ, which can warm those who need our help, care, and support, may fill us too.

Let us ask him to bring those in power to reason, like he once miraculously brought to reason the mayor of the city of Myra and the Byzantine king himself, who were ready to shed innocent blood. Let us ask him that through his and our prayers, the insanity in our long-suffering land may end — for Saint Nicholas was able to stop the sword and reconcile bitter enemies during his lifetime. Let us ask him for long-awaited peace to reign in Ukraine as soon as possible, so that our children and grandchildren may once again enjoy life under a peaceful sky.

I want to wish all of us today to share at least a little bit in that heavenly love with which this great man lived. To learn from Saint Nicholas the firm standing in the Orthodox faith, uncompromisingness in defending the truth, concern for and compassion to one’s neighbours, and decisiveness to do works of mercy even where it seems to be absolutely impossible. Let us remember that the Lord is always ready to give us His Divine grace, which ‘healeth that which is infirm and completeth that which is wanting’, in response to our good intention.

I cordially greet you on the feast, dear brothers and sisters!
All related news