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Words of St. Nicholas of Serbia about St. Nicholas the Wonderworker

Treasures of St. Nicholas

Saint Nicholas

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.

Amen.

December 14, 2022
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