Our Holy Father Nicolas the Soldier.

Commemorated December 24 in the Orthodox Christian Menaion

From the Prologue

Some people think that this great saint was a Slav of Balkan origin. In the time of the Emperor Nicephorus, Nicolas was commander of the part of the army that went to war against the Bulgars. On the road, Nicolas spent the night in an inn, where he experienced a great temptation and had a strange dream. This dream came true in the war, when the Greeks were utterly routed by the Bulgars in 811. Nicolas was preserved and, out of gratitude to God, left his command and became a monk. In long asceticism, he attained such perfection that he became a great seer and man of God. He died peacefully in the ninth century, and entered into the blessed Kingdom of Christ the Lord.

In the Greek Synaxarion, Our Holy Father Antiochus, a monk of Palestine, is also commemorated. He was an eye-witness of the sufferings of our holy Fathers of St Sava's (May 16th), and, as an eye-witness, recorded their sufferings at the hands of the Saracens. He also compiled another book entitled 'Pandect'. He wrote many prayers, of which the best-known is the one read daily at Compline: 'And grant us, O Master, as we lay us down to sleep, repose both of body and soul...'.

The Holy New Monk Achmed is also commemorated. A Turk by birth and a builder by trade, he embraced the Christian faith and laid down his life for it. He suffered at the hands of the Turks in Constantinople in 1682.

From The Prologue From Ochrid by Bishop Nikolai Velimirovich
©1985 Lazarica Press, Birmingham UK

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