Saints and Traditions

Saints and services. Feasts and fasts. Traditions that are as diverse as the people who are struggling towards salvation in the Orthodox Church.



Three boys in a pickling tub

Three boys in a pickling tub

In Medieval Europe, the most common image of St. Nicholas shows him standing over three small children in a wooden tub. The image illustrates an odd story that was told and believed for centuries. The story began as the story of the three innocent men whom St....
St. John Cassian and St. Nicholas

St. John Cassian and St. Nicholas

There are at least two versions of this folk tale about St. John Cassian and St. Nicholas. If you don’t know St. John Cassian you should. He was a theologian and deacon who worked with St. John Chrysostom. He brought monasticism from Egypt to the Western church. His...
St. Nicholas, deliverer from famine

St. Nicholas, deliverer from famine

When Nicholas was Bishop of Myra, a great famine came over the land of Lycia. Hunger and death became familiar companions. The bishop prayed for his people, of course. But even he could not turn stones into bread. When Bishop Nicholas finished his prayers, he walked...
St. Nicholas, patron of sailors

St. Nicholas, patron of sailors

There was another Nicholas, a sailor, who lived near the same time and place as Nicholas the Bishop of Myra. It’s likely that some of the stories about St. Nicholas rescuing sailors were originally told about that St. Nicholas. But over time, the stories were...
St. Nicholas takes the executioner’s sword

St. Nicholas takes the executioner’s sword

When my children were young, the story of St. Nicholas rescuing three innocent men from execution was their favorite of all of the stories of St. Nicholas. Like the story of the widower’s daughters, there is nothing miraculous about it — just fierce goodness. Because...
St. Nicholas and Arius at the Council of Nicea

St. Nicholas and Arius at the Council of Nicea

Did St. Nicholas really slap Arius at the Council of Nicea? For a long time, I would have said, “Probably not.” But I’ve changed my mind. Read the story, and see what you think. A return to Myra It had been a dozen years since Nicholas had walked out...

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