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Apostolic Visit to Bahrain (December 11 – 16)
H.H Ignatius Zakka I Iwas, Patriarch of Antioch
and All The East, and his delegation will visit
Kingdome of Bahrain on 11 December 2004 to attend
the Silver Jubilee Celebration of St. Peter's
Jacobite Syrian Orthodox Church , Bahrain.
( Tel: +973-245432 / 251476)
Tentative program Schedules as follows.
11 December 2003
18: 20 Arrival at Bahrain Air Port
19:00 Reception at Airport
19:15 Reception & Luthiniya at St. Peter's Church
12 December 2003
07:30 Arrival at Indian School Auditorium
08:30 HOLY QURBONO - Indian School Auditorium
16:00 Meeting with Vicar & committee members of the Bahrain Church
17:00 Meeting with SAMAJAM delegates
18:00 Silver Jubilee Celebration & reception - Indian School Auditorium
13 December 2003
09:00 Audience with the King of Bahrain
15:00 Press meeting - HILTON Hotel
16:00 Meeting with various Christian associations delegates from Bahrain
17:30 Banquette to invited Gust – CARLTON Hotel
14 December 2003
09:00 Audience with Bahrain Royal Family members
11:00 Distribution of Charity donations
19:30 HOLY QURBONO at St. Peter's Church
15 December 2003
09:00 Audience with Bahrain Government Delegation
16:00 Distributing Silver Jubilee Gold Coins to Church members
20:00 Delivering a speech at Baith Al Quran (organized under
the auspicious of H.E Te Deputy Prime Minister & Minister of
16 December 2003
09:00 Extending National Day Greeting to King & Ruling Family
at New Palace
11:00 Farewell meeting and Luthiniya at St. Peter's Church
During our Good Friday service there are parts
in which we sing for curse & bad fortune upon
the people that crucified Jesus Christ. What
would be the intention of including this in
the service as Christ Himself asked for
forgiveness for these people?
St. Ignatious Church Dallas
I have some question regarding the name of our God.
Here is what I know.
According to catholic bibile name of our God is
YAWH. (Exodus 3:14). The usage "Jhehova" is a
mis-usage for the lack of knowledge of Hebrew
language. But later the translators used the
word LORD ( notice all in block letters) to
represent the proper name of our God, because
they were afraid to even write the proper name
of our God.
But the usage by George M Lamasa's Peshitta
tranlation uses this way . I belive Peshitta
translation by Our Rev. Dr. Curian Kaniyamparambil
achan also uses the same way.
"And God said to Moses, I am AHIAH ASHAR HIGH
( that is THE LIVING GOD); and he said, thus
you shall say to the children of Israel AHIAH
has sent me to you"
Note here the name of God is AHIAH ASHAR HIGH .
But in King James "And God said unto Moses I
AM THAT I AM; and he said, thus shalt thou say
unto the children of Israel I AM hath sent
me unto you"
Naturaly there is some comfusion here. three names
are used. But only one could be correct. There
is a name which our God told Moses. That is a
proper name and one should not translate it. What
was it? and how come this versions?
With the same way, why or who did English translation
of "Yesu" to Jesus and like altered the names of our
Lord, Mother of God, Marium ( not Mary) and names
of all apostles.
Is this correct?
St Ignatius Church
"His followers said, 'Show us the place
where you are, for we must seek it.' He
said to them, 'Whoever has ears should
hear. There is Light within a Person of
Light, and it shines on the whole world.
If it does not shine, it is dark!'"
-Gospel of Thomas, Saying 24
Thomas Daniel (Reji)
St. George Jacobite Syrian Orthodox Church
Cheppaud, Alleppy Dist, Kerala, Inida
From the Desk of Moderators:
As per the information received from Malankara,
"Suon-dro-niso" Koodoso of Mor Kuriakose Theophilos
(Resident bishop of the Seminary) will be conducted
at Puthankurizu Seminary Cathedral on Sunday 14
This Koodoso will officially accept the consecration
of the Metropolitan by the Catholicose by the church.
All the Bishops, priests and thousands of faithful
of Malankara church will be attending this ceremony.
BIOGRAPHY of Mor Kuriakose Theophilos
Is there any restriction on the food that we can eat.
The Old Testament bans some foods like pork etc.
Is this applicable to our chruch? Some of the priests
are of the opinion is that Jesus Christ annuled this
rule. But my father used to tell me that it is not.
St. Ignatious church
St. Marys Chruch
S.Marady , Muvattupuzha
Dear Thomas Daniel,
I am aware that W. Baum & D. W. Winkler published
Die Apostolische Kirche des Ostens. Geschichte der
sogenannten "Nestorianer" (Klagenfurt, 2000)
(Einführungen in das orientalische Christentum 1).
Even though the titles are not 100% the same, it
could nevertheless well be that your version is
the English translation or simply a sort of
revised version written in English this time.
Don't worry about the reliability of the writers.
They are acknowledged scholars in Germany,
specialists in Syriac-Aramaic studies.
Mor Yuhanon, Syriac Orthodox Church of Antioch
Hengelo, The Netherlands
"Such, my brethren, are the wonders of God. And God
reveals His hidden saints so that some may emulate
them and others have no excuse for not doing so.
Provided they live a worthy life, both those who
choose to dwell in the midst of noise and hubbub
and those who dwell in monasteries, mountains and
caves can achieve salvation. Solely because of their
faith in Him God bestows great blessings on them.
Hence those who because of their laziness have
failed to attain salvation will have no excuse to
offer on the day of judgment. For He Who promised
to grant us salvation simply on account of our faith
in Him is not a liar."
St. Symeon the New Theologian.
"The wicked is ensnared by the transgression of his
lips, But the righteous will come through trouble."
Both Dr. Wilhelm Baum and Prof. Dr. Dietmar Winkler
are known figures among the syriac scholars in
Europe. I know both of them personally. Both have
written a lot of scholarly authentic works in the
field. But as any other western scholars, they may
also be taking a postion supporting the East
Syrians( the so called Nestorians). But it doesnot
necesorily mean that they will be untrue to our
church. Unfortunately i have not yet read their
new book on Eastern Church.
With Love and Prayers
Fr.Dr.BIJI CHIRATHILATTU MARKOSE;
Vicar, St.Mary's SO congregation,Vienna,
Dear Aji Thomas,
Thanks for exposing Fake Identities of some members.
Like you know, creating an identity in the web world
is the easiest thing. After that you can go on
confusing people in a forum like ours. But at some
stage the cat jumps out.
At least for the past 4 months many "identities" have
been hyper active. With each identity taking a
slightly different stand but in the end all confirming
to the IOC stand. Like one identity being an extremist
IOC fellow, another being a moderate and yet another
being a "pious" person who is "sincerely" craving for
peace( but that peace means succumbing to IOC
catholicos). There was yet another identity who
claimed to be belonging to the Jacobite Church, but
ended up denouncing whatever this church stands for.
When you cannot show your face in public, what else
you can do??
There was yet another deception by an "identity" in
some of the other forums like IOC forum, Orthodox
Herald etc some time back.( probably the moderators of
this forum had also received that posting)
That posting was about a "miracle" that is said to
have happened in the tomb of vattaserri.
Now the person who had sent that posting is one mr
"elias eldho" ( do you smell something). He lives in a
place called "kothamangalam" (again that smell is
coming) The auther claims at least ten times in that
posting that he and his family belong to the
"Yacobites" ( definitly that smell is there).
And he have descrided a "miracle" for the consumption
of the readers.
Another member of the IOC forum requested this
particular "elias eldho" to publish his full details
so that there would not be any doubts on the claims.
Past almost a month our dear old "elias eldho" is
Reading that posting we can understand that the person
"elias eldho" lives in kerala. But my cousin told me
that this particular posting have originated from a
place which is in a time zone atleast 5 hrs distant
from India. ( there is some way of finding out the
approximate place of origin of an e mail. Iam not sure
of it, but atleast some of the members of this forum
will be knowing it)
So what was the idea behind that posting??
Usually all the Apostolic Churches declare a Person as
a Saint after confirming the miracles that have
happened because of that Person.
But when somebody is declared a saint just to satisfy
the ego of a section of the church and to poke the
other section, what you can do.
If "miracles" doesnt happen, you "invent" it. And when
you "invent" those miracles make sure that the other
section can digest it.
Baby Gleeson Zachariah
St George Jacobite Syrian Church
Devotional thoughts for Sunday 7th December 2003.
Sunday of the birth of St. John the Baptist.
Reading : Gospel According to St. Luke 1: 57-80.
Dear and Respected Brethren,
When the birth of St. John the Baptist, the
fore-runner of our Lord, took place he was named
as John against all the traditions and practices
that prevailed among them till then. When Zechariahs
spoke after a long gap of about nine months, he
praised God. He had nothing else to do. The modern
man will run for a press conference immediately
without knowing the deepness of God’s care and
intention behind each blessing that he/she might
enjoy. From verses 66, we could learn the attitude
of those who heard this wonderful news. “And all
they that heard them laid them up in their hearts,
saying, what manner of child shall this be”. Suppose
we were there. If so what would have been our
response? Just think.
We could listen a prophecy about our Lord Jesus Christ
from verses 68 till 75, from the mouth of Zechariahs,
who was filled with the Holy Spirit. In verse 72, we
read, “to perform the mercy promised to our fathers,
and to remember his holy covenant.” What is the mercy
promised to our fathers? We read in Leviticus 26:42
“Then will I remember my covenant with Jacob, and
also my covenant with Isaac and also my covenant with
Abraham will I remember; and I will remember the land”.
This is the promise to our fathers. Again in Exodus 2:24,
we read, “and God heard their groaning, and God
remembered his covenant with Abraham, with Isaac, and
with Jacob. In Psalms 106:45 we read, “and he remembered
for them his covenant, and repented according to the
multitude of his mercies”.
In verse 73, we read about an oath, which he swore to
our father Abraham. What is the oath? Let us go back
to Genesis 12:3. There we could see the oath swore to
Abraham. We read, ”And I will bless them that bless thee,
and curse him that curses you, and in you shall all
families of the earth be blessed. Again in Hebrews 6:13,
we read, “For when God made promise to Abraham, because
he could swear by no greater, he swore by himself.” The
verses 76 to 80, though meant to say about the new born
baby (St. John the Baptist), the statements are linked
and connected with the life of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Zechariahs names St. John as the fore-runner of our Lord.
(see vs. 76) We must give special emphasize to vs.79.
Zechariahs declares that the one who is to come would
provide light to those who sit in the darkness and in
the shadow of death. He will guide our feet in to the
way of peace. Let us take this promise in the face value
itself. Let us wait for his peace and guidance through
May God bless us all.
Jose Kurian Puliyeril.
St. George Orthodox Church
Full Name: Korooyoo Zayd Sabha Abdul Noor
Country of Residence: Bagdad, Iraq
Denomination: Syrian Orthodox Church
Parish:St.Peter's and St.Paul's
Syrian Orthodox Church, Bagdad,Iraq.
Full Name: Calude Guérillot, 74
(University professor retired)
Country of Residence: Montfermeil, France
My Priest: Father Yacup Aydin.
Parish:Sainte Marie Mère de Dieu
I stay very far from my parish and I am too
old to travell. So I am alone...
This is why I am interested in joining
May the Christ, our God, keep all of us in
His holy guard
According to www.deepika.com dated 06-12-03, both Catholicose
of Malankara Church attend a function and share the same
IOC Catholicose inaugurated the function and Our Catholicose
blessed the function. Cardinal Varky Vithayathil presided
the meeting. It was a function held at P.O.C Palarivattom,
Could you arranged to get the photographs of the same event?
Anyhow it is a good start.
Issac K Joseph
Dhukorno of Mor Ignatius Noorno will be celebrated at
Mor Ignatius Jacobite Syrian Orthodox Church,Vazhamuttam
East, Pathanamthitta on 6, 7, 8 & 9 December.
Dn. Eby Stephen & Dn. Binoy Thattankunnel will lead the
Music Ministry and Gospel Preaching at 6.00 & 7.00 P.M
On 8 December at 5.30 PM, grand reception will be
given to H.B Catholicose Basalious Thomas I, Mor
Markose Koorilose, Mor Mathews Evanious, Mor
Geeverghese Diavanious, Mor Yhoohanon Milithose &
Mor Kuriakose Theopilose. Rev. Dr. T.C Abraham
Chorepiscopo will preside the public meeting and
Honorable Minister T.M Jacob will inaugurate the
At 7.00 P.M Rasa & on 9 December morning at 8.30 AM,
Holy Anichinmel Qurbana by H.B Catholicose and H. Graces
Mor Ignatius Jacobite Syrian Orthodox
Church Vazhamuttam (E) P.O. Mallaseri
"Smoke from wood kindling a fire troubles the eyes;
but then the fire gives them light and gladdens them.
Similarly, unceasing attentiveness is irksome; but
when, invoked in prayer, Jesus draws near, He
illumines the heart; for remembrance of Him confers
on us spiritual enlightenment and the highest of
St. Philotheos of Sinai.
"He who believes in the Son has everlasting life;
and he who does not believe the Son shall not see
life, but the wrath of God abides on him." John 3:36
Dear Moderaotors/Isaac Joseph
Ref: Both Catholicose share the same platform
This is a step forward in the spiritual life
of orthodox church (IOC and JOC). I wish all
45 bishops(IOC and JOC) meet in Kerala during
Xmas to show everyone that we are one in spirit.
During Passion week in April let them meet and
wash their feet one another. Put an end to the
conflict for ever before the second coming of
St.Kuriakose Orthodox Church
Dear all members.
I am glad to inform every body that, as per yesterdays
court order, Our people got full power in St Mary's
church vadavucode. Today HG Joseph Mar Gregorious
(metropolitan of the church) did the holy qurbana.
After a long time today a metropolitan entered the
church and all parishners are extremely happy in
this incident. While understanding the history of
this church, we can see that this parishners suffered
much for establishing faith here.
Any way we should congartulate them, including the
church vicar, father paulose keerikattil also.
in the name our lord jesus
St. Mary’s Jacobite Church Vadavucode
Seeing the mail in other forum..I just understood
what it mean by "creating HISTORY"...!!!!
Someone among them along with Kottayam Catholica
cries that its not two different churches but one
and few others can re-write HISTORY or rather I
would like to call it HIS-STORY..As far as I am
concerned,it is good.Let them publish it..make more
and more web sites..and make it a lulllaby for
future..I will also put sincere effort to sell it
out as IOC-HISTORY...rather,I am compiling all
postings of those sort from their forum to make it
available for my friends who dont even know of our
split..All that will ultimately make it clear for
generations to be born that these two are indeed
TWO DIFFERENT CHURCHES..Go ahead..and all the
St George JSO Chapel, Kavumbhagom, Thiruvalla
St Mary's JSO Church, Queen's Road, Bangalore
"Pride is denial of God, and invention of the devil,
the despising of men, the mother of condemnation,
the offspring of praise, a sign of sterility,
flight from Divine assistance, the precursor of
madness, the cause of falls, a foothold for satanic
possession, a source of anger, a door of hypocrisy,
the support of demons, the guardian of sins, the
patron of pitilessness, the rejection of compassion,
a bitter inquisitor, and inhuman judge, an opponent
of God, a root of blasphemy."
St. John Climacus.
"Blessings are on the head of the righteous, But
violence covers the mouth of the wicked." Proverbs 10:6
The body of abune Yacob II Patriarch of the Eritrean
Orthodox Church was laid to rest.
The body of His Holiness Abune Yacob II Patriarch
of the Eritrean Orthodox Church, was laid to rest
on Saturday December 6, 2003 at St. Mary Church in
Asmara, Eritrea, in the presence of thousands of
people including, Egyptian Orthodox Church bishops,
Isaias Afewerki, President of the state of Eritrea,
government officials, diplomats, and dignitaries.
The requiem mass was conducted by bishops and
metropolitans of the Eritrean and Egyptian Orthodox
Churches. Many people attended the funeral ceremony,
including Isaias Afewerki, President of the state
of Eritrea, and government officials.
The Eritrean Catholic Church, the Eritrean Evangelical
Church and others sent messages of condolences to the
Church on the late, His Holiness Abune Yacob II.
His Holiness Abune Yacob II passed away of natural
death on December 2, 2003. He was 77.
His holiness Abuna Yacob II Patriarch served the
Church for many years, first as a deacon, monk,
and a bishop. On December 4, 2002, two months after
the death of the first patriarch Abune Filipos,
abuneYacob II was anointed by the holy synod of
the Eritrean Orthodox Church as its second patriarch.
May the Lord rest his soul at the feast with Abraham,
Isaac and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven.
Hi Brothers in Jesus Christ
It was really interesting that both Catholicos
on the same stage.
I also wish the same thing like one of our
yahoo group members that on the coming christmas
all the Bishops come together on a stage and
show their unity and love in the name of Jesus
Christ. On the coming passion week all of them
come together again and wash their feet each
other like Jesus did.
In that way we could end this calamities to an end.
St George syrian orthodox church
Spring Valley, New york.
Dear members & respected Priests
During the Qawmo (Trisagion) in Morning Prayers
(Sleebo Namaskaram) of Advent fast period, are
we allowed to Kneeling (Kumbideel).
Especially if Holy Qurbono is not celebrated after
If not, why?
In Our Lords Love
Thomas Daniel (Reji)
St. George Jacobite Syrian Orthodox Church
Cheppaud, Alleppy Dist, Kerala, India
"It is one thing to be content with shabby
clothes and have no desire for magnificent
array, but a different matter to put on the
light of God. They are two different things.
Caught up in a myriad of desires, some have
easily been negligent, but only they [put
on the light] who constantly search for it
through all kinds of penitence; those who
become children of light and of the day
through the fulfillment of the commandments."
St. Symeon the New Theologian.
"Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and today,
and forever." Hebrews 13:8
We are expected to do the genuflexion in prayers
except on Sundays and festival days and the day
after receiving Holy Qurbono during all seasons
other than Easter to Pentacost.
St.George Malankara S.O. Church,
> Subject: Kneeling during Qawmo
> Dear members & respected Priests
> During the Qawmo (Trisagion) in Morning Prayers
> (Sleebo Namaskaram) of Advent fast period, are
> we allowed to Kneeling (Kumbideel).
> Especially if Holy Qurbono is not celebrated after
> the Prayers.
> If not, why?
> In Our Lords Love
> Thomas Daniel (Reji)
> St. George Jacobite Syrian Orthodox Church
> Cheppaud, Alleppy Dist, Kerala, India
The news of a favorable court order on St. Mary’s
Jacobite Church Vadavucode is cooling our hearts.
We take this opportunity to Congratulate all the
Jacobites in Malankara, Our most beloved Bawa
(I personally believe that his tearful prayers
are behind this - It is written that "the watchful
prayers of a justful man is always aswered")
Diocision Bishop, Parish Vicar Rev Fr Paulose
Keerikattil and all the Parish Members on this
May we pray that this result will be the success
of Rightousness over evil and be the first one
in a series of orders to come out.
Stay Blessed in our Lord Jesus Christ
BABU MARACHERIL -
KOTHAMANGALAM MARTHAMARIYAM VALIA PALLY
KUWAIT ST:GEORGE UNIVERSAL SYRIAN ORTHODOX PALLY
KOCHI: In an unprecedented move, the Church is planning
to issue a written statement to all parish priests and
clergy instructing them to accord a decent burial to
people dying of AIDS-related diseases.
The circular will be sent to all the 320 parishes in the
The move comes on the heels of an incident at the Elavoor
parish, near Angamaly, a few days ago where an HIV-infected
person was denied burial in the church cemetery and was
buried in a separate section.
Syro-Malabar Church spokesperson Fr Paul Thelekat told this
website's newspaper that Archbishop Varkey Cardinal Vithayathil
will soon issue a circular stating categorically that an
HIV/AIDS-infected person is not a sinner and should, therefore,
be treated with respect even in death.
The circular will also state that HIV/AIDS does not spread
from a dead person, provided adequate precautions are taken.
``It is said that the HIV virus becomes inactive after seven
hours of a person's death. So there is little risk of
contracting the infection through a dead person,'' he said.
``We will, however, take the advice of medical practitioners
on the subject and enlist the precautions to be taken while
burying an HIV/AIDS victim,'' he said.
Thelakat said there were still several misconceptions regarding
HIV/AIDS. While the stigma of `sin' continues to persist, there
are also greater fears of contracting the infection through
the dead because of which some victims have been ostracised
even after death. ``All this is wrong. An HIV/AIDS victim is
not a sinner and deserves a decent burial,'' Thelekat said.
The death of an HIV-infected youth on December 1 has spurred
the Church to take this step. The youth died at the Divine
Retreat Centre, Muringoor, Angamaly, near St Antony's Church.
The priests there reportedly denied him church burial. He was
buried in a separate section and the formal burial rites were
not performed on him. The matter came to the notice of the
Cardinal through some parishioners who wrote to him. ``It is
sad that something like this happened in our archdiocese,''
said the spokesperson.
source: http://www.newindpress.com 06-12-03
Issac K Joseph
70 kilometres east the capital of the Czech Republic,
Prague, lies a small town called Sedlec.
It might have been an ordinary enough town, if not for
its extraordinary church. The inside of this church is
decorated with artworks made of human bones.
The story begins in 1218, when a certain abbot Henry
made a pilgrimage to the holy land and brought back a
jar full of soil, which he spread over the Church's
cemetery. As a result the cemetery came to be regarded
as sacred and turned into a popular burial spot.
By 1318, more than 30,000 bodies were buried there and
by 1511, it had become necessary to remove the older
bones to make place for the new ones.
These later became the material for the macabre creations.
In 1870 a local woodcarver was hired by the Duke of
Shwartzenberg to decorate the inside of the church with
the human remains(approximately 40,000 sets of bones).
St. George JSO Chapel, Kavumbhagom, Thiruvalla
St. Mary's JSO Church, Queens Road, Bangalore
Dear brothers & Sisters
Is December 25 really the day Jesus was born?
St. Mary's Jacobite Church
The true story of Santa Claus begins with Nicholas,
who was born during the third century in Patara, a
village in what is now Turkey. His wealthy parents,
who raised him to be a devout Christian, died in an
epidemic while Nicholas was still young. Obeying
Jesus' words to "sell what you own and give the money
to the poor," Nicholas used his whole inheritance to
assist the needy, the sick, and the suffering. He
dedicated his life to serving God and was made Bishop
of Myra while still a young man. Bishop Nicholas became
known throughout the land for his generosity to the
those in need, his love for children, and his concern
for sailors and ships.
Under the Roman Emperor Diocletian, who ruthlessly
persecuted Christians, Bishop Nicholas suffered for
his faith, was exiled and imprisoned. The prisons
were so full of bishops, priests, and deacons, there
was no room for the real criminals—murderers, thieves
and robbers. After his release, Nicholas attended the
Council of Nicaea in 325 AD. He died December 6, 343
AD in Myra and was buried in his cathedral church,
where a unique relic,called manna, formed in his grave.
This liquid substance was said to have healing powers
which fostered the growth of devotion to Nicholas. The
anniversary of his death became a day of celebration,
St. Nicholas Day.
Through the centuries many stories and legends have
been told of St. Nicholas' life and deeds. These
accounts help us understand his extraordinary
character and why he is so beloved and revered as
protector and helper of those in need.
One story tells of a poor man with three daughters.
In those days a young woman's father had to offer
prospective husbands something of value—a dowry.
The larger the dowry, the better the chance that a
young woman would find a good husband. Without a
dowry, a woman was unlikely to marry. This poor
man's daughters, without dowries, were therefore
destined to be sold into slavery. Mysteriously, on
three different occasions, a bag of gold appeared
in their home-providing the needed dowries. The bags
of gold, tossed through an open window, are said to
have landed in stockings or shoes left before the
fire to dry. This led to the custom of children
hanging stockings or putting out shoes, eagerly
awaiting gifts from Saint Nicholas. Sometimes the
story is told with gold balls instead of bags of
gold. That is why three gold balls, sometimes
represented as oranges, are one of the symbols for
St. Nicholas. And so St. Nicholas is a gift- giver.
One of the oldest stories tells of the townspeople
of Myra celebrating the good saint on the eve of
St. Nicholas' feast day. A band of Arab pirates
from Crete had come into the district. They stole
treasures from the Church of Saint Nicholas to take
away as booty. As they were leaving town, they
snatched a young boy, Basilios, to make into a slave.
The emir, or ruler, selected Basilios to be his
personal cupbearer, as not knowing the language,
Basilios would not understand what the king said to
those around him. So, for the next year Basilios
waited on the king, bringing his wine in a beautiful
golden cup. For Basilios' parents, devastated at the
loss of their only child, the year passed slowly,
filled with grief. As the next St. Nicholas' feast
day approached, Basilios' mother would not join in
the festivity, as it was now a day of tragedy. However,
she was persuaded to have a simple observance at
home-with quiet prayers for Basilios' safekeeping.
Meanwhile, as Basilios was fulfilling his tasks serving
the emir, he was suddenly whisked up and away.
St. Nicholas appeared to the terrified boy, blessed
him, and set him down at his home back in Myra.
Imagine the joy and wonderment when Basilios amazingly
appeared before his parents, still holding the king's
golden cup. This is the first story told of St. Nicholas
protecting children—which became his primary role in
Another story tells of three theological students,
traveling on their way to study in Athens. A wicked
innkeeper robbed and murdered them, hiding their remains
in a large pickling tub. It so happened that Bishop
Nicholas, traveling along the same route, stopped at
this very inn. In the night he dreamed of the crime,
got up, and summoned the innkeeper. As Nicholas prayed
earnestly to God the three boys were restored to life and
wholeness. In France the story is told of three small
children, wandering in their play until lost, lured, and
captured by an evil butcher. St. Nicholas appears and
appeals to God to return them to life and to their families.
And so St. Nicholas is the patron and protector of children.
Several stories tell of Nicholas and the sea. When he was
young, Nicholas sought the holy by making a pilgrimage to
the Holy Land. There as he walked where Jesus walked, he
sought to more deeply experience Jesus' life, passion, and
resurrection. Returning by sea, a mighty storm threatened
to wreck the ship. Nicholas calmly prayed. The terrified
sailors were amazed when the wind and waves suddenly calmed,
sparing them all. And so St. Nicholas is the patron of
sailors and voyagers.
Other stories tell of Nicholas saving his people from famine,
sparing the lives of those innocently accused, and much more.
He did many kind and generous deeds in secret, expecting
nothing in return. Within a century of his death he was
celebrated as a saint. Today he is venerated in the East
as wonder, or miracle worker and in the West as patron of a
great variety of persons-children, mariners, bankers,
pawn-brokers, scholars, orphans,laborers, travelers, merchants,
judges, paupers, marriageable maidens, students, children,
sailors, victims of judicial mistakes, captives, perfumers,
even thieves and murderers! He is known as the friend and
protector of all in trouble or need (see list).
Sailors, claiming St. Nicholas as patron, carried stories
of his favor and protection far and wide. St. Nicholas
chapels were built in many seaports. As his popularity spread
during the Middle Ages, he became the patron saint of Apulia
(Italy), Sicily, Greece, and Lorraine (France), and many cities
in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Italy, Russia, Belgium, and
the Netherlands (See list). Following his baptism in
Constantinople, Vladimir I of Russia brought St. Nicholas'
stories and devotion to St. Nicholas to his homeland where
Nicholas became the most beloved saint. Nicholas was so
widely revered that more than 2,000 churches were named for
him, including three hundred in Belgium, thirty-four in Rome,
twenty-three in the Netherlands and more than four hundred
Nicholas' tomb in Myra became a popular place of pilgrimage.
Because of the many wars and attacks in the region, some
Christians were concerned that access to the tomb might
become difficult. For both the religious and commercial
advantages of a major pilgrimage site, the Italian cities
of Venice and Bari vied to get the Nicholas relics. In the
spring of 1087, sailors from Bari succeeded in spiriting
away the bones, bringing them to Bari, a seaport on the
southeast coast of Italy. An impressive church was built
over St. Nicholas' crypt and many faithful journeyed to honor
the saint who had rescued children, prisoners, sailors,
famine victims, and many others through his compassion,
generosity, and the countless miracles attributed to his
intercession. The Nicholas shrine in Bari was one of medieval
Europe's great pilgrimage centers and Nicholas became known
as "Saint in Bari." To this day pilgrims and tourists visit
Bari's great Basilica di San Nicola.
Through the centuries St. Nicholas has continued to be
venerated by Catholics and Orthodox and honored by Protestants.
By his example of generosity to those in need, especially
children, St. Nicholas continues to be a model for the
Widely celebrated in Europe, St. Nicholas' feast day, December
6th, kept alive the stories of his goodness and generosity. In
Germany and Poland, boys dressed as bishops begged alms for
the poor—and sometimes for themselves! In the Netherlands
and Belgium, St. Nicholas arrived on a steamship from Spain
to ride a white horse on his gift-giving rounds. December 6th
is still the main day for gift giving and merrymaking in much
of Europe. For example, in the Netherlands St. Nicholas' Day
is celebrated with the sharing of candies (thrown in the door),
chocolate initial letters, small gifts, and riddles. Dutch
children leave carrots and hay in their shoes for the horse,
hoping St. Nicholas will exchange them for small gifts. Simple
gift-giving in early Advent helps preserve a Christmas Day
focus on the Christ Child.
Mathew G M
St.Johns Church, Ayyampalli
"The evil spirits make us zealous for works which we are not able to perform,
and cause us to faint in tasks on which we are engaged, and which are profitable
for us. Therefore, they make us laugh when it is time for weeping, and weep when
it is time for laughter, and simply turn us aside at every time from the right
way. And there are many other deceits whereby they make us their slaves, but
there is no time now to describe all this. But when they fill our heart with
these deceits, and we feed on them and they become our food, then God is patient
with us and He visits us, to bring us back again from this heavy body, that we
may leave it."
St. Anthony the Great.
"Resist him (the devil), steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same
sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world." 1 Peter 5:9
Please pray for the peace of the world.
"casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you." 1 Peter 5:7
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