St Nicholas, Wonderworker of Myra in Lycia
Tomorrow is a big day for our parish. It is our patronal feast, and Bishop Peter will be among us. He will ordain Reader Nicholas Park to the deaconate on the day of the feast, I will try to post a few things about our patron.
This is a difficult feast for our sister church, St Nicholas Orthodox Church, in Stratford CT. Fr George Lardas is the rector, and his matushka is Anna. Her brother, Archiamandrite Joasaph, reposed yesterday after a short battle with a rare cancer. I know them from way back, when they were “exiled” in
May God comfort them in their loss, and memory eternal to Fr Joasaph. I knew him (as a layman), and he was a kind, quiet, and yet energetic and pious man. I will miss his always sanguine and informative posts on various mailing lists.
We will add Fr Joasaph to our list of commemorations "during the forty days" (currently Patriarch Pavle and the murdered priest Daniel).
How close the Saints are to us! During WWII, some Ukrainian soldiers were stuck on the wrong side of enemy lines and were trying on a very cold night to get back where they were supposed to be. However, they became too exhausted and were facing dying of exposure, when they saw a twinkle of light between some trees.
Following the light, they found a clearing with a little cabin. A kind-looking old man invited them inside for shelter and to regain their strength. As soon as these comrades-at-arms went inside, they collapsed on the floor in utter exhaustion.
When they awoke, they found themselves, much refreshed, in the middle of the same clearing, but there was no building, no old man, in sight. Wondering at this, they continued on. Soon they were in a safe area.
They saw a church and went inside to thank the Lord for His mercy towards them. There, in the church, they saw an icon of St. Nicholas on the wall. "That’s him!" they said to one another. "That’s the old man who gave us shelter last night!"
Hieromonk Aidan St. Hilarion Monastery Austin, Texas http://listserv.indiana.edu/cgi-bin/wa?A2=ind9408b&L=orthodox&F=&S=&P=19689