St Nicholas is a well known saint. He is the saint of sea farers and all those who encounter storms in their lives. There are many churches in his name.His life was full of love and philanthropy. He was born in Asia Minor in 250 AD. He was financially well off and became a Christian through his parents. He was orphaned at a young age. He spent his wealth on good causes. Nicholas wanted to join the church and was ordained. The bishop who ordained him predicted that Nicholas would turn many to God.
When the bishop of Miron died, his colleagues sat down to choose his successor. They stood up and prayed to God to help them find someone worthy.That night an angel appeared to them and told them that on the following day a priest called Nicholas will be coming before them. He would be the successor. Thus, Nicholas became Archbishop of Miron .
At the time of his life Christians were persecuted.He met all these trials with faith and strength. He was imprisoned and tortured himself. Christ came to him and healed him. Even in prison he helped and gave strength to his fellow Christians. One day he heard noises and mass hysteria outside his cell. He thought it was the end. His cell door was flung open and many people rushed in and carried him out. He was free. The prayers of the people had been answered as he was much loved and respected. Constantine the Great had defeated Maximillian , Emperor of Rome.Constantine ordered the persecution of Christians to stop, and, the Christians were to be allowed to worship freely.
There was a time when St Nicholas was on a ship bound for the holyland. He fell asleep and saw satan cutting the sails of the ship. When he awoke, he told everyone that a storm was about to erupt but that they were not to be afraid. If they had faith in God, all would be well. The predicted storm arose, and everyone prayed. The ship got through it.During the storm a sailor climbed the rigging to fix a sail. He fell to his death. St Nicholas prayed, and the sailor was brought back to life. When the ship landed his fame spread and he cured many sick of their ailments.
St Nicholas also saved three poor Christians from being executed on false charges. St Nicholas appeared at the time of the execution and grabbed the executioners sword and flung it away. He was held in such esteem that all three were pardoned.
At the time of a mass famine in Likia , St Nicholas appeared to a ships captain who was to take a load of corn to France.He told the captain to take his load to Likia where he would get more money for it as the people were starving. He gave him some money as a down payment. When the captain awoke, he found the money in his hand. He did as he was told and sold all his corn, and praised God for his mercy.
Three soldiers were charged with treason against Constantine. An execution date was set.
They prayed to God to send St Nicholas to help them just as he had helped the three poor Christians. St Nicholas appeared in a dream to the emperor. He told him the three soldiers had been falsely charged and that he was Nicholas,servant of God. The three soldiers were freed and loaded with gifts for St Nicholas.
All ships have an icon of St Nicholas and we celebrate his day on 6th December.