Dec. 6 Saint Nicholas's Day. (Formerly Catholic, now Gnostic &
Discordian) For the former Bishop of Myra. who, if I am not mistaken,
was dropped from the ranks of Roman Catholic saints In the early 60's
due to it being pointed out that he was really a Gnostic. Ho Ho Ho!
I think the author was mistaken.
The true greatness of this beloved Saint is hidden in the shadows of
legend, obscuring the identity of one of the most endearing of our saints.
Nothing is known of the early life of Nicholas, except that he was born
at the turn of the fourth century, during the reign of the Emperor
Diocletian, in Asia Minor and was a Bishop of Myra, in that area which
is now Turkey. Of a quiet and and studious nature, he attended the Synod
of Nicaea in A.D. 325. On that momentous occasion he was so withdrawn
that he is not even mentioned in the account of the proceedings recorded
by St. Athanasios the Great; however, his behind the scenes activity did
add to the luster of this memorable convocation. His importance was
recognised by the Emperor Justinian, who had a magnificent cathedral
erected in his memory in Constantinople.
Prior to his elevation as Archbishop, Nicholas had suffered
imprisonment, harsh treatment and torture at the hands of the enemies of
the Church. It was not until the reign of the Christian Emperor
Constantine that he was able to lead the normal and peaceful life of a
prelate. His leadership in Myra, which did not offer very hospitable
surroundings for the Christians of the day, was so effective that his
fame and popularity gave rise to many legends that were well intended
but served only to screen the true character of this very real and
industrious saint who laboured for Christ all the years of his life,
echoing the truth of Christianity uttered centuries before by the apostles.
So great was St. Nicholas' popularity that he became the symbol of
protection of children, which led to many of the legends about him.
After his death by natural causes at a venerable age, the legends and
myths multiplied, but they only demonstrate how dearly loved he was for
his great work. He became not only the patron saint of children, but
also of merchants, sailors, and scholars, and was a protective symbol
for travellers against highwaymen.
In a fascinating and daring enterprise in the late eleventh century, the
residents of Bari, Italy, where Nicholas' popularity had grown with the
years, hatched a plot to recover the remains of the saint from Turkey.
Through guile and ruse they were able to outwit the unwary but dangerous
natives of Asia Minor and succeeded in removing the body of Saint
Nicholas and transporting it to Bari. There it was paraded in triumph
through the streets before being properly enshrined on 9 May 1087, after
which a magnificent basilica was erected in his honour.
from Orthodox Saints, v. 4,
by Fr George Poulos, Orthodox Press
"nick cobb" <ni...@nospamsnet.net> wrote in message
1. Saint Nicholas the Wonderworker, Archbishop of Myra in Lycia
This glorious saint, celebrated even today throughout the entire world,
was the only son of his eminent and wealthy parents, Theophanes and
Nona, citizens of the city of Patara in Lycia. Since he was the only son
bestowed on them by God, the parents returned the gift to God by
dedicating their son to Him. St. Nicholas learned of the spiritual life
from his uncle Nicholas, Bishop of Patara, and was tonsured a monk in
the Monastery of New Zion founded by his uncle. Following the death of
his parents, Nicholas distributed all his inherited goods to the poor,
not keeping anything for himself. As a priest in Patara, he was known
for his charity, even though he carefully concealed his charitable
works, fulfilling the words of the Lord: Let not thy left hand know what
thy right hand doeth (Matthew 6:3). When he gave himself over to
solitude and silence, thinking to live that way until his death, a voice
from on high came to him: ``Nicholas, for your ascetic labor, work among
the people, if thou desirest to be crowned by Me.'' Immediately after
that, by God's wondrous providence, he was chosen archbishop of the city
of Myra in Lycia. Merciful, wise and fearless, Nicholas was a true
shepherd to his flock. During the persecution of Christians under
Diocletian and Maximian, he was cast into prison, but even there he
instructed the people in the Law of God. He was present at the First
Ecumenical Council of Nicaea  and, out of great zeal for the truth,
struck the heretic Arius with his hand. For this act he was removed from
the Council and from his archiepiscopal duties, until the Lord Christ
Himself and the Most-holy Theotokos appeared to several of the chief
hierarchs and revealed their approval of Nicholas. A defender of God's
truth, this wonderful saint was ever bold as a defender of justice among
the people. On two occasions, he saved three men from an undeserved
sentence of death. Merciful, truthful, and a lover of justice, he walked
among the people as an angel of God. Even during his lifetime, the
people considered him a saint and invoked his aid in difficulties and in
distress. He appeared both in dreams and in person to those who called
upon him, and he helped them easily and speedily, whether close at hand
or far away. A light shone from his face as it did from the face of
Moses, and he, by his presence alone, brought comfort, peace and good
will among men. In old age he became ill for a short time and entered
into the rest of the Lord, after a life full of labor and very fruitful
toil, to rejoice eternally in the Kingdom of Heaven, continuing to help
the faithful on earth by his miracles and to glorify his God. He entered
into rest on December 6, 343.
2. Saint Nicholas, Bishop of Patara
Nicholas was the uncle of the great St. Nicholas, and it was he who
guided him to the spiritual life and ordained him a priest.
3. The Holy Martyr Nicholas Karamos
Nicholas was cruelly tortured for the Christian Faith by the Turks and
was hanged in Smyrna in the year 1657.
4. Saint Theophilus, Bishop of Antioch
A man well educated in Hellenic philosophy, Theophilus, after reading
the Holy Scriptures, was baptized and became a great defender of the
Christian Faith. His work ``On the Faith'' is preserved even today. He
governed the Church of Antioch for thirteen years and entered into rest
in the year 181.
HYMN OF PRAISE
Saint Nicholas the Wonderworker, Archbishop of Myra in Lycia
Holy Father Nicholas,
The four corners of the world glorify you
As a knight of the powerful Faith,
The Faith of God, the true Faith.
From the cradle he was devoted to God,
From the cradle until the end;
And God glorified him-
His faithful Nicholas.
Famous was he throughout his life,
And even more renowned after death;
Mighty on earth was he,
And even more mighty is he in heaven.
Glowing spirit, pure heart,
He was a temple of the Living God;
For this the people glorify him
As a wondrous saint.
Nicholas, rich in glory,
Loves those who honor him as their ``Krsna Slava'';
Before the throne of the eternal God,
He prays for their good.
O Nicholas, bless us,
Bless your people
Who, before God and before you,
Humbly stand in prayer.
In icons of St. Nicholas, the Lord Savior is usually depicted on one
side with a Gospel in His hands, and the Most-holy Virgin Theotokos is
depicted on the other side with an episcopal omophorion in her hands.
This has a twofold historical significance: first, it signifies the
calling of Nicholas to the hierarchical office, and second, it signifies
his exoneration from the condemnation that followed his confrontation
with Arius. St. Methodius, Patriarch of Constantinople, writes: ``One
night St. Nicholas saw our Savior in glory, standing by him and
extending to him the Gospel, adorned with gold and pearls. On his other
side, he saw the Theotokos, who was placing the episcopal pallium on his
shoulders.'' Shortly after this vision, John the Archbishop of Myra died
and St. Nicholas was appointed archbishop of that city. That was the
first incident. The second incident occurred at the time of the First
Ecumenical Council in Nicaea. Unable to stop Arius through reason from
espousing the irrational blasphemy against the Son of God and His
Most-holy Mother, St. Nicholas struck Arius on the face with his hand.
The Holy Fathers at the Council, protesting such an action, banned
Nicholas from the Council and deprived him of all emblems of the
episcopal rank. That same night, several of the Holy Fathers saw an
identical vision: how the Lord Savior and the Most-holy Theotokos were
standing around St. Nicholas-on one side the Lord Savior with the
Gospel, and on the other side the Most-holy Theotokos with a pallium,
presenting the saint with the episcopal emblems that had been removed
from him. Seeing this, the fathers were awestruck and quickly returned
to Nicholas that which had been removed. They began to respect him as a
great chosen one of God, and they interpreted his actions against Arius
not as an act of unreasonable anger, but rather an expression of great
zeal for God's truth.
Contemplate the sinful fall of Adam and Eve (Genesis 3):
1. How God cursed the serpent;
2. How He imposed upon Eve the pain of child-bearing and on Adam the
burden of toil;
3. How He cursed the ground in the works of man;
4. How He did not curse ground as ground but rather in thy works, i.e.,
in the works of man.
on the absence of sin in the works of God
And God saw that it was good (Genesis 1).
Brethren, everything that was created, and the means by which the pure
and sinless God created it, is pure and sinless. Every creature of God
is pure and sinless as long as it is turned toward God, as long as it is
neither separated from God nor hostile to God. Every creature of itself
praises and glorifies God as long as it is pure and sinless. That is why
the Psalmist sings: Let everything that hath breath praise the Lord.
Alleluia! (Psalm 150:6). Every intelligent creature of God feels that
its natural and primary purpose is to praise the Lord. Thus, brethren,
people ask: ``If this is so, from whence comes evil into the world?'' It
comes from sin, and only from sin. Sin changed a bright angel into a
devil. The devil willingly made himself a vessel of sin and then hurried
to make other creatures of God similar vessels. By their own free
choice, other angels consented to sin with the devil, and afterward the
first people, Eve and Adam, consented. From this proceeded the mixture
of good and evil in the world. However, even today, that which is of God
in creation is good, as it was in the first days of creation. Poison
came from sin, for sin is indeed poison, the most bitter poison that
exists. Sin was the cause of the curse. It brought about the darkening
of minds and caused created things to become hostile toward their
Creator. It distanced man from God, and man from man, and man from
nature, and nature from man. O my brethren, all that comes from God is
good, and all that comes from sin is evil. No evil exists that is bound
to God, and there exists no kind of evil that is not bound to sin. Many
philosophers have examined the essence of evil, and because of their
crude minds they have asserted that evil is in matter and that matter is
evil. However, only we Christians know that sin is the essence of evil
and that evil has no essence other than sin. It is obvious from this
that if we desire to protect ourselves from evil, we must protect
ourselves from sin.
O sinless God, help us to protect ourselves from sin and the corruption
To Thee be glory and praise forever. Amen.
>***"Ho Ho Ho"? Was he a nappy headed saint?
The Gnostics were what you lot call "towel heads"?
The author is mistaken, definitely. I'm no Catholic, but I know that
much. <wry grin> And I daresay some of the Catholics who hang out here
can confirm this.
:/ Nice ethnic slur, that. Did you really have to use it? In some
circles (including some I frequent), "towel heads" is equivalent to
"n****r", equally shocking and equally offensive. It doesn't refer to
Muslims in general, but to Arabs in general. (Including fellow Arab
Orthodox Christians, for what that's worth.)
Gnosticism does not remotely resemble Islam, either. The *Arians* are
another matter. They were non-Trinitarian pure monotheists who believed
that Christ was the Son of God, but not God the Son. They predate Islam
by centuries, of course, and on details of doctrine differ significantly
from most schools of Islam, but the essentials are similar.
What did you expect from Alfred G. Green of Bighamton, NY area - aka
>Steve Hayes wrote:
>> On Sat, 1 Dec 2007 09:26:10 -0500, "Orthodox News"
>> <Orthod...@nospamsnet.org> wrote:
>>> ***"Ho Ho Ho"? Was he a nappy headed saint?
>> The Gnostics were what you lot call "towel heads"?
>:/ Nice ethnic slur, that. Did you really have to use it? In some
>circles (including some I frequent), "towel heads" is equivalent to
>"n****r", equally shocking and equally offensive. It doesn't refer to
>Muslims in general, but to Arabs in general. (Including fellow Arab
>Orthodox Christians, for what that's worth.)
>Gnosticism does not remotely resemble Islam, either. The *Arians* are
>another matter. They were non-Trinitarian pure monotheists who believed
>that Christ was the Son of God, but not God the Son. They predate Islam
>by centuries, of course, and on details of doctrine differ significantly
>from most schools of Islam, but the essentials are similar.
So I'm wondering why Al Green seems to think that St Nicholas was an Arab
And wearing not merely a towel, but a nappy (diaper), which seems to take it
to a level beyond the usual crass American racism.
***I don't. I never said or implied that.
> And wearing not merely a towel, but a nappy (diaper), which seems to take
> to a level beyond the usual crass American racism.
***Ah, South Africans are not informed about Don Imus' so-called "problem."
"nick cobb" <ni...@nospamsnet.net> wrote in message
>"Steve Hayes" <haye...@hotmail.com> wrote in message
>> On Sat, 01 Dec 2007 07:49:36 -0800, Catherine Jefferson
>> <spam...@spambouncer.org> wrote:
>>>Steve Hayes wrote:
>>>> On Sat, 1 Dec 2007 09:26:10 -0500, "Orthodox News"
>>>> <Orthod...@nospamsnet.org> wrote:
>>>>> ***"Ho Ho Ho"? Was he a nappy headed saint?
>>>> The Gnostics were what you lot call "towel heads"?
>>>:/ Nice ethnic slur, that. Did you really have to use it? In some
>>>circles (including some I frequent), "towel heads" is equivalent to
>>>"n****r", equally shocking and equally offensive. It doesn't refer to
>>>Muslims in general, but to Arabs in general. (Including fellow Arab
>>>Orthodox Christians, for what that's worth.)
>>>Gnosticism does not remotely resemble Islam, either. The *Arians* are
>>>another matter. They were non-Trinitarian pure monotheists who believed
>>>that Christ was the Son of God, but not God the Son. They predate Islam
>>>by centuries, of course, and on details of doctrine differ significantly
>>>from most schools of Islam, but the essentials are similar.
>> So I'm wondering why Al Green seems to think that St Nicholas was an Arab
>***I don't. I never said or implied that.
So what WERE you implying when you called St Nicholas a "nappy-headed saint"?
Was it a completely mindless non-sequitur, or was there some point that you
were trying to make?
>> And wearing not merely a towel, but a nappy (diaper), which seems to take
>> to a level beyond the usual crass American racism.
>***Ah, South Africans are not informed about Don Imus' so-called "problem."
No, I'm not. I know nothing about Don Imus.
Does his "problem" throw any light at all on the allegation that St Nicholas
was Gnostic, or on your allegation that he wore a baby's nappy on his head?
***It has to do with the hair of the team members at Rutgers University.
And what does that have to do with whether St Nicholas was a Gnostic or not?
***Let it go.
>***Let it go.
So I take it you cannot or will not explain the meaningless nonsense that you
post -- that it really IS meaningless nonsense, and that any attempt to
discover meaning in it is futile.
***To recap the entire flap caused by radio personality Don Imus to a
foreigner would be worthless. My comment was less for you than for the
pained enjoyment of Americans.
***Let it go.
You need the cultural context, Steve. An American radio presenter referred
to a women's basketball team as "nappy-headed ho's" and got into big trouble
for it. Al was making a pun on the Ho Ho Ho / Saint Nicholas thing, which
actually would've been quite funny if "nappy-headed" wasn't still an
(Doesn't refer to a baby's nappy, by the way. "Nappy" hair grows in tight
curls, kind of all bunched together, rather than in separate strands. The
term probably comes from the "nap" on a piece of fabric.)
>"Steve Hayes" <haye...@hotmail.com> wrote in message
>> On Sun, 2 Dec 2007 23:22:41 -0500, "Orthodox News"
>> <Orthod...@nospamsnet.org> wrote:
>>>***Let it go.
>> So I take it you cannot or will not explain the meaningless nonsense that
>> post -- that it really IS meaningless nonsense, and that any attempt to
>> discover meaning in it is futile.
>You need the cultural context, Steve. An American radio presenter referred
>to a women's basketball team as "nappy-headed ho's" and got into big trouble
>for it. Al was making a pun on the Ho Ho Ho / Saint Nicholas thing, which
>actually would've been quite funny if "nappy-headed" wasn't still an
Hmmm, a bit tortuous and laboured.
Not up to St Nick's supposed Discordian standards, for sure ;-)