Wednesday, February 3, 2010

A Miracle of St. Nicholas and St. Symeon the God-Receiver


By St. Nikolai Velimirovich

How great a glory in heaven befitted St. Symeon the Receiver of God, who held the Savior of the world in his hands, which the following incident clearly shows as, related in the hagiography of St. Peter the Athonite (June 12).

As a commander during a battle, Peter was enslaved, chained and cast into prison in the town of Samara on the shores of the Euphrates River. Languishing in prison for along time Peter, in tears, prayed to St. Nicholas to beseech God on his behalf to liberate him from prison, promising that he will completely dedicate himself to God. St. Nicholas appeared to him in a dream and told him that although he [St. Nicholas] prays to God on his behalf, God delays his deliverance because he [Peter] earlier made a similar vow to God and did not keep it. And further, St. Nicholas counseled Peter that he ought to pray to St. Symeon the God-Receiver "who is very mighty before God and stands close to the Throne of God together with the All-Holy Virgin and St. John the Forerunner."

Peter heeded the counsel of St. Nicholas and proceeded to pray to St. Symeon. Again St. Nicholas appeared to him, together with St. Symeon, not in a dream but in reality. Peter saw Symeon glorious in appearance, face glowing, and attired in the vestments of an Old Testament priest with a golden staff in his hand. St. Symeon said to Peter: "Do you want to fulfill the vow and become a monk?" To that, Peter replied: "Yes master, with God's help." Symeon then touched Peter's chains with his staff and the chains melted like wax. Opening the doors of the dungeon, the Saint led Peter from prison.

Apolytikion in the First Tone
Hail Virgin Theotokos full of Grace, for Christ our God, the Sun of Righteousness, has dawned from you, granting light to those in darkness. And you, O Righteous Elder, rejoice, taking in your arms, the Deliverance of our souls, who grants us Resurrection.

Kontakion in the First Tone
Your birth sanctified a Virgin's womb and properly blessed the hands of Symeon. Having now come and saved us O Christ our God, give peace to Your commonwealth in troubled times and strengthen those in authority, whom You love, as only the loving One.
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