Art and Faith

Sunday, 27 January 2008

N K Bodarevsky. St Nicholas of Myra the Wonderworker. Khram Spasa na Krovi (Church of the Saviour on the Spilt Blood). St Petersburg RF. undated (1890s)

St Nicholas of Myra the Wonderworker

N K Bodarevsky

undated (1890s?)

Khram Spasa na Krovi (Church of the Saviour on the Spilt Blood)

St Petersburg (Federal City of St Petersburg. Northwestern Federal District) RF


The story of St Nicholas of Myra the Wonderworker is known to all, it’s, perhaps, the most familiar tale in all Christendom. We’re not going to revisit that. Rather, we’re going to talk of how St Nicholas dealt with the upstart heretic Arius. St Nicholas was one of the delegates to the First Ecumenical Council in Nicaea. Arius was speaking to the assembled bishops, and St Nicholas grew more and more irritated with his lies and heresies. Finally, St Nicholas had enough. He got up and threw a good punch at Arius. That’s to say, St Nicholas got righteously angry and decked the foul pretender on the spot! The bishops adjourned and discussed what to do with St Nicholas. Well, they decided that although cold-cocking Arius was not exactly the most Christian thing to do, it was understandable under the circumstances. In short, St Nicholas “got out of jail free”. Bully for St Nicholas! What would St Nicholas do with his namesake Bishop Nikolai Soraich in Alaska for elevating a registered sexual offender to the clergy? Do you think that he would come down from heaven and deliver an encore of his haymaker to Arius? Hmm… something to think about…


I’m putting my money on Nikolai of Myra, not Nikolai of Alaska… what about you?


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