Monday, November 26, 2007

Life's Mysteries: St. Nicholas Buys A Carpet From An Old Man; St. Nicholas Gives The Carpet To The Old Man's Wife

"To help alleviate any end of year cash crunch, the Federal Reserve announced Monday that it will conduct a series of special operations starting this week...."

Associated Press "Fed Taking Action to Counter Cash Crunch" New York Times November 26, 2007


Saint Nicholas (Greek: Άγιος Νικόλαος , Agios Nikolaos, "victory of the people") is the common name for Saint Nicholas, a Lycian saint and Bishop of Myra (in modern-day Antalya province, Turkey). He was born during the third century C.E. in the village of Patara. He had a reputation for secret gift-giving ... Nicholas was never officially canonised; his legend simply evolved among the faithful. Among Orthodox Christians, the historical Saint Nicholas is remembered and revered. Saint Nicholas is the patron saint of sailors, merchants, children, and students in Greece, Belgium, Bulgaria, Georgia, Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, the Republic of Macedonia, Slovakia, Serbia and Montenegro.



[Click on image for enlargement.]

Latter half of the 16th century
135 x 124. Egg tempera on lime wood.
From the Church of the Nativity of the Virgin in the village of Liskovate (Poland). Lviv National Museum (Ukraine).
# i-1181
166k, jpeg.


St. Nicholas, bishop of Myra in Lycia (Asia Minor) was famed during his lifetime as a model of faith and a paragon of gentleness. Legends about his good deeds and wonders he wrought brought him great fame among believers and led to his cult, especially widespread in democratic strata. St. Nicholas turned into one of the most reserved saints, and in the Ukraine he was famed as a protector from fires, a patron of travelers and a favorite hero of folklore. Many folk beliefs appeared in connection with the spring festival of St. Nicholas marking the translation of his relicts to Bari. Some legends are associated with Kyiv, e. g., The Deliverance of a Kyiv Boy From Drowning. [The original miraculous Icon of St Nicholas the Drenched, credited with saving a boy from drowning in the River Dnipro, has now been returned to the Saint Sophia Cathedral in Kyiv.]

Hagiographic scenes on the three borders of the middle part of the icon show (left to right):

The Nativity of St. Nicholas
The Baptism of St. Nicholas
The Installation of St. Nicholas as Bishop
The Apparition of St. Nicholas to Emperor Constantine
The Apparition of St. Nicholas to the Three Innocent Men in the Dungeon
St. Nicholas Deliver Agricus' Son From the Saracen Captivity
St. Nicholas Exorcises the Devil
St. Nicholas Delivers the Drowning Man
St. Nicholas Buys a Carpet From an Old Man
St. Nicholas Gives the Carpet to the Old Man's Wife
The Translation of the Relics of St. Nicholas
The Entombment of St. Nicholas.

Photo and text credit: (c) Lviv National Museum and Lviv Icon Gallery (Room 6) at With thanks.


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