December 7, 2011

18 Contemporary Miracles of Saint Nicholas (Part One)

1. Miracle At Gregoriou Monastery of Mount Athos

During the eighth year of the abbacy of Elder Athanasios, a wonderful event gave great spiritual joy to the fathers, and revived their devotion to the Bishop of Myra. How can one not break forth in praise when one sees the tangible assistance of a Saint!

There were two brothers, Fr. Michael and Fr. Chrysanthos, who worked in the Monastery's bakery. One day, just as on many others, they were preparing the wheat that was to be ground in the mill. They passed it through a special machine to clean it of dirt and chaff. They were not very happy, however, because the wheat was almost used up and it was difficult to procure more.

Suddenly a little old man came up to their work area. He was short, bald, and poorly dressed, and he held a Gospel in his hand.

"How are you, Fathers? How is it going?"

"Well, glory be to God!"

"Do you have all the wheat you need?"

"What you see is all we have, Grandfather. It is only enough for one baking, and we have to do two bakings a week."

"Don't worry, Fathers. God is great." Shortly afterwards he blessed the wheat and left.

A little while later the two monks said: "We didn't do right to let the old man leave. Let's call him back and give him something to eat."

They ran after him to catch him, but he was nowhere to be found. A strange thing! - One would think he were a young man with wings on his feet to disappear so fast. They asked the other monks, but no one had seen him or knew anything about him.

Little by little they came to realize that the little old man might have been St. Nicholas. There was some doubt, of course, but time took care of that, for they beheld a wonder: the wheat that the old man had blessed lasted for six whole months! It was an obvious miracle.

2. Saint Nicholas Miraculously Saves A Chinese Man

Before Communists came to power in China, there was an icon of St. Nicholas in the Harbin train station(1), as many Russian immigrants had settled there. The icon was respected by non-Christian Chinese as well as the Russian Orthodox immigrants.

One day a Chinese man, dripping wet, ran into the station, throwing himself down in front of the icon. He was speaking Chinese and it is said he was thanking the saint for saving his life.

Durig the winter, when the Sungari river that flows through Harbin, China, is frozen solid it becomes a short-cut to to from one side to the other.

The ice breaks up in the spring and chunks flow down the river. On that day this man was in a great hurry to get to the other side of the river. Even though the ice was breaking up and floating in the water, he ran across, jumping from floe to floe. Then he slipped and went down under the ice.

As he was beginning to drown, he remembered the train station icon and cried out, "Old man from the train station, help me!"

Then he became unconscious, slipping completely under the ice where he would surely perish.

The very next thing he knew, he was on the riverbank! Freezing water soaked him to the skin, but he alive and well! As fast as he could, the man ran the long distance to the train station. He stopped in front of the icon, throwing himself down, thanking the great hierarch Saint Nicholas for such an amazing miracle of his mercy and love.

1. This story was told by St. Philaret. See also here and here.

3. The Lost Icon of the Kremlin Which Reappeared

One of the twenty towers of the Kremlin is the Tower of Saint Nicholas and is one of the entrances to the Kremlin built in 1492. From the 16th century the icon of St. Nicholas Mozhaisk adorned the tower. Under the gaze of the Saint parades took place and tzars were crowned for 500 years.

In 1812 Napolean set fire to the Kremlin. The Tower of Saint Nicholas was blown over and the top part destroyed. The icon however miraculously survived.

In 1916 the tower was repaired with some additions. During the October Revolution the Gate and Tower of Saint Nicholas Mozhaisk was attacked with explosives, machine guns and grenades. An icon of an angel was destroyed. The icon of the Saint however, despite the holes from the bullets, survived yet a second time. The Bolsheviks covered the icon with a red cloth away from the sight of the faithful. The cloth however was torn and the Muscovites were abkle once more to see the icon.

On 9 May 1918 (the feast of the translation of the relics of St. Nicholas) Patriarch Tikhon called for the procession to run through Red Square where prayers were offered beneath the icon. The Red Army broke up the gathering with gunfire.

In 1934 the icon disappeared. Everyone thought it was destroyed by command of Stalin. The restoration work of 2010 dispelled this rumor. The icon was found!

The workers who had gone up to destroy the icon, putting their lives in danger, did not destroy it but covered it with a metallic plate and metallic cord. The distance from the plaster was ten centimeters, to make it "breathable". The metallic plate was painted over with paint.

The icon was restored and unveiled on 15/28 August 2010 by Patriarch Kirill and President Medvedev.

4. Saint Nicholas Heals A Muslim Woman

A Muslim woman from the Russian Republic of Bashkortostan, who for 4 years underwent tests and treatments to become pregnant, achieved her desire after praying before an icon of St. Nicholas.

"I am a Muslim, but for some reason I believe that the icon helped me", testified the happy mother to Komsomolskaya Pravda.

Her friends advised her to go to church: Her marriage had failed though her diagnosis was like a knife stab to her family; her illness should not have allowed her to become pregnant. It was her first time she went to a church. She was a little scared and did not know how to pray. The parishioners told her to pray from her heart.

She then prayed saying: "Wonderworker Nicholas, help me to acquire a son", and she left a golden chain next to the icon.

After a month she became pregnant and eventually gave birth to a healthy baby.

5. A Miracle Wrought By St. Nicholas in Kiev in the 1920's

It was nearly half a century ago that I first heard of this miracle wrought by St. Nicholas. Never had I chanced to read anything about it in the writings of the Church. I would not want this case of the saintly bishop's help to depart to my grave with me.

During the mid-1940s (I can't recall the exact date), I had to spend the night in the city of Munchen [Munich] in West Germany. The city was in ruins after the war, and I would be forced to spend the night outside. Fortunately, there chanced to be a "Good Samaritan" church-house in the city, and I was provided with its address.

There were two of us in the room. Myself, and a man unknown to me, some 40-45 years of age. We introduced ourselves, each to the other. I do not remember either his name or his surname - and they probably would not have been "real" anyway. We had to sleep on wooden benches and chairs. So, in order to pass the night more quickly, we fell to talking. I can't remember why, but my co-locutor, for some reason or other, asked me whether I was acquainted with the miracle of St. Nicholas that took place in Kiev in the 1920s. I did not know of it, and he related the following tale to me.

In Kiev, at Podol (the northern section of the city), there dwelt an elderly widow with her son and daughter. The old woman dearly loved St. Nicholas and, in all cases of difficulty, would go to his church to pray before the image [obraz] of the saintly bishop [sviatitel'], always receiving consolation and the easing of her misfortune. Her son, seemingly a student, became an officer.

The governments of the city changed frequently: Whites, Reds, a Hetman, a Directory, Poles, Germans, etc. All former officers were arrested on the spot, the old woman's son among them. His sister rushed about from one "department" of the time to another. She ran her legs off, but achieved nothing. But the old woman ran off to St. Nicholas. Long did she pray before his icon; then she returned home, consoled--the saintly bishop will help. She sat down to have a spot of tea, while her daughter's hands simply fell to her sides. O, woe!, her brother had vanished!

The son returned home at dawn of the following day. Famished, beaten, dirty, weary. According to him, a large group of officers under a strong convoy of guards was being led off to Pechersk. This is the hilly section of town, opposite from Podol, by the Kiev-Caves Lavra. There was a large hippodrome there, where horse races were held. Beyond it, there was a grove, and rampart-trenches which had been dug on Peter I's day, as a defense against the Swedes. It was in that grove, by the rampart-trenches, that the shootings took place.

They had come up to the hippodrome when, suddenly, some little old man or other stepped out from around a corner. He approached the convoy-commandant and asked: "Where are you taking them?"

The commandant replied, rudely: "To Dukhonin's H.Q.!" (which meant, in the jargon of the time, "to be shot"). "Go away, old man!" The old man left, but, in doing so, he took the old woman's son by the hand and said: "Let him go. I know him."

Neither the commandant nor the escort-guards replied with even so much as a single word, nor did they hinder him. The little old man led the young fellow out around the corner and, saying, "Go on home to your mother," vanished away somewhere.

The old woman was overjoyed and immediately set off to thank St. Nicholas. The son wanted to do nothing more than to lie down and have a good, long sleep, but his mother took him along with her to the church. He had probably been there on previous occasions, but had been but little interested in anything.

The little old woman led him up to a huge image of the saintly bishop. The son turned ashen-pale and began to tremble. He could only whisper: "Mother, dear, but that's the very same elder who led me to freedom..."

Wondrous is God in His Saints.

Many of the details of this tale were precise and animated. Who had my co-locutor been? Perhaps he had been speaking of himself? I don't know...

-- N. P. F. California 1993

6. The Icon of St. Nicholas Which Appeared By Itself

In the province of Tambov a family bought an old abandoned home. Furthermore the building was deserted and an old door was thrown under the shed.

On a rainy day the daughter went out to the garden and saw an icon above the door. Having venerated it she went home happy saying: "There was a miracle! St. Nicholas the Wonderworker appeared!"

They quickly took the icon to the church in Sechman. When the bishop of Tambov saw it, he said: "Yes, this appears to be a miracle. We did not know anything about this icon and suddenly it appeared. It was revealed to remind us that it escaped from the great persecutions."

Many faithful come to venerate this icon which day after day becomes brighter.

A conservator identified the icon - which was covered by a thick layer of paint, as an icon of the Muscovite School of the 19th century.

7. The Icon of St. Nicholas Which Gushed Myrrh

In August of 2006 an icon of Saint Nicholas in Donetsk of Ukraine began to weep. Large tears of myrrh ran from the eyes for one week. This occurred three moths before an airplane carrying 159 passengers crashed near Donetsk.

8. "Someone Is Knocking On the Window"

The following miracle happened at the beginning of the war in Balasich, a town near Moscow.

The Soloviev family had four children. The mother was on her death bed. Her ten year old daughter Paraskevi stood at the window crying. She suddenly heard a sound on the window. Wiping with her hand the frozen window she saw an old man with a cord wrapped around his shoulder. He said to her: "My girl do not cry. Your mother will not die." Paraskevi quited down and went to tell her neighbors of this.

"My mother will not die. An old man told me."

"Which old man?"

"The one who knocked on my window. He had a cord on his shoulder. He told me that mama will not die."

They showed her some icons. Among them she recognized St. Nicholas who was portrayed with an omophorion and holding a Gospel.

9. The Face of Christ and St. Nicholas Appear On Burnt Icons In Ukraine

Read here.

10. A Strange Miracle of Saint Nicholas in 1956

Read here.

Read also: 18 Contemporary Miracles of Saint Nicholas (Part Two)