Basilica “St. Nikolai ”in the city of Bari

St. Nicholas Day is one of the most revered Christian holidays and a favorite occasion for many Bulgarian families to gather at one table. Unfortunately, most people miss the religious moment past the fish specialties and forget that with this holiday we pay homage to St. Nicholas of Myra, Miracle Worker, died on the same date.


For some, the relationship between St. Nicholas and Barry may seem strange, but in fact it is quite large and has its own deep history. St. Nicholas (Nicholas) or Nikolaus, to be precise, is an Eastern Roman clergyman, bishop of the city of Mir in Lycia. He was born in Patara around March 15, 270, and his name comes from the Greek words nikáo (win) and laós (people). During his lifetime he was known as an opponent of paganism, and after his death he was revered as a saint and protector of sailors, children, merchants and bankers. He is called a miracle worker because he has performed many miracles in his life. His deeds were always aimed at protecting, pacifying and healing.


St. Николай

St. Nicholas died on December 6, 343 in the town of Mir (today - Demre, Turkey) and was buried in the local cathedral. There are many legends about his life and especially his death, aimed at belittling the work and miraculous power of the saint, rather than praising him. For example, his relics are said to have been stolen by Italian sailors in 1099 and taken to the city of Bari. It is a fact that his relics are still in the Italian city. But the truth is quite different from what they present to us. To unbelievers, it will sound crazy, but miracles are for those who have the senses to perceive them.


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In the 11th century St. Nicholas appears simultaneously in the dream of the Doge of Venice and the Doge of Genoa. He asks them to go to the city of Mir, take his relics and take them to Bari so that they will not be insulted by the pagans. The next day, independently of each other, the two doges made a decision and sent their fleets to the city of Mir to fulfill the wish of the saint. They have a strong headwind all the time and the trip goes smoothly and smoothly. They enter the city without an arrow flying. They took the relics and carried them to the cathedral in Bari, at the explicit request of the saint, placing them in a sarcophagus. After 6 months, a blessed ointment flows from the sarcophagus, which is now kept in all Catholic and Orthodox Christian churches. Christians are baptized, married and buried with it. From there comes the so-called anointing.


In the middle of the 20th century, various churches (Protestant, Evangelical, etc.) accused the Catholic Church of another "miracle" by which they demanded that Christians have faith in the church and the saints. To refute their words, the pope convened a cardinal council and, after praying to the saint, opened the sarcophagus, which had not been touched for 800 years. It is clear to everyone that the saint is incorruptible. They disguised him and placed him in a lead sarcophagus, which they encapsulated. Before that, infrared cameras are placed in the four corners to detect any attempt to manipulate the sacred oil. A few months pass and the ointment flows again, even through the lead sarcophagus, without any, not even a tiny hole. Naturally, the mouths of unbelievers remain open and silent.


Monument to St. Nicholas in the city of Bari

Therefore, since I learned that the relics of St. Nicholas are in Bari and that the sacred ointment has been flowing from the sarcophagus for so many hundreds of years, my dream is to celebrate December 6 there, to attend the liturgy and to touch the miracle. This year I failed for objective reasons, but the relics of the saint will be there next year, so it's never too late. In Bari St. Nicholas is held in high esteem, he is even considered the patron saint of the city and after the liturgy he is celebrated with pasta and fish. Apart from December 6, Bari also celebrates on May 9 the so-called Nikolai Letni, when it is believed that his relics have arrived in the city.


St. Nicholas, in addition to being the patron saint of sailors, children and bankers, is also a prototype of Santa Claus or Santa Claus. This is because, even as a bishop, he entered the houses of the poor through the windows at night and brought them gifts for the Resurrection. And another little-known fact about Barry. In the cathedral "St. Nikolai ”is the last Bulgarian king Ioan Shishman.

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