Today we celebrate the memory of a man who entered the kingdom of heaven despite being rich. It is difficult for a wealthy person to enter the kingdom of heaven (see Matthew 19:23) not because of the wealth itself, but because of the temptations that accompany it. Rarely can the rich refrain from abusing their wealth. Not many are those who have neither clung to riches in their hearts nor fallen away from the Creator. There are however, the rare few who, like St. Nicholas or Tsar Nemanja, entered the kingdom of heaven and achieved sainthood using their wealth for the glory of God and the salvation of their neighbours. Their hearts were free from the riches they possessed. They regarded everything they had as God's property and considered themselves His servants and treasurers of His possessions, which they distributed according to the Gospel commandments. This is how they saved their souls and helped save others. These courageous hearts did not let wealth defeat them; instead, they themselves became its conquerors.
Besides his worldly wealth, St. Nicholas possessed three other riches more valuable than any earthly treasures: the treasure of faith, the treasure of righteousness, and the treasure of mercy. These three treasures multiplied in him until the end of his earthly life: the more faith he shared with people, the richer he became, the more ardent he was for righteousness, the more complete his soul grew, the more mercy he showed, the more gentle became his heart. Faith, righteousness, and mercy are heavenly treasures, multiplied when given away. These three jewels, which St. Nicholas left as a legacy to the Church, remain unspent. As we commemorate and glorify St. Nicholas today, we are also heirs to this threefold treasure. You should know that it is more pleasant for him to give to you than to receive from you.
This saint of God had a faith pure as crystal and strong as a diamond. He proved this at Nicaea, when, endangering his own life, he defended Orthodoxy from a heretic.
The truth of God shone in St. Nicholas bright as the sun. He showed this when he prevented an executioner from killing three innocently condemned men. The saint rushed forward and managed to tear the sword from the executioner's hands, again putting his own life in danger.
The Saint's mercy to the poor and needy was like that of Christ. He gave away all his possessions as alms, usually doing it secretly, and dooming himself to hunger and poverty.
In addition to the three great spiritual gifts of faith, truth, and mercy, St. Nicholas possessed an inexhaustible treasury of spiritual goods, containing such riches as meekness, self-control, fasting, prayer, and humility. The wondrous saint of Christ left this treasure house, overflowing with spiritual and mental jewels, as an inheritance to you, Orthodox Christians.
Also, remember and rejoice: St. Nicholas neither wrote books nor shed blood for Christ, and yet he is revered more than many saints who wrote profound works or suffered martyrdom. This mystery is great and wondrous. By this work of His Providence the Good Lord made it clear that He brings into His kingdom not only wise theologians and martyrs, but also countless good souls keeping the true faith and obeying His commandments. There have always been and still are many believers, who act rather than speak. They have not written volumes, yet they breathe the Spirit of God.
Saint Nicholas is a true hero of a saint, a perfect image for those who, hearing the Word of God, hasten to fulfil it and teach others by their example…
Glory to our God and Saviour, honour and praise to Saint Nicholas; peace, good health, joy, and blessings to you all forever.
The Lazarus Saturday is a very joyful day for Orthodox Christians which shows us the triumphal miracle of Christ. It falls on the same day our dear Abbess Euphrosinia celebrates her birthday - April 24th.
Ichthys Christian Orthodox School of St Elisabeth Convent offers all the subjects required by the national school curriculum. Most importantly, the teachers emphasise the development of a Christian worldview and understanding.
The Optina Monastery is a famous stauropegion of the Russian Orthodox Church, located in the Kaluga region. A stauropegion is a church or monastery exempt from the jurisdiction of the local bishop and directly subject to the highest authority…
St. Paulinus was simple and compassionate. He came out of the peasantry and became an archbishop. His cuff is kept as a great shrine in the Novospassky Monastery where he was once tonsured a monk.
Christian denominations, including many Western Orthodox Churches, prepare to celebrate the Nativity of our Savior Jesus Christ (Christmas) on the 25th of December. However, in Belarus Christmas is celebrated on 7th January.
On February 15th, the Orthodox will celebrate one of the most joyful feasts of the entire liturgical year - the Meeting (Presentation) of our Lord. This ancient celebration gives a lot of hope and light and inspires us to keep going.
On 19 August we celebrate a major feast day in the life of the Church called the Holy Transfiguration. Transfiguration is a powerful reminder to us that with God we are complete, whole, and fully human as we were intended to be.
The Great Lent starts on March 15 in the Belarusian Orthodox Church this year. The sisters of Saint Elisabeth Convent will embark on this journey to Easter by reading what the Church Fathers have said about the three pillars of Lent.