The Church commemorates Saint Nicholas the Wonderworker, Archbishop of Myra in Lycia.
Saint Nicholas ministered to the Church under the reign of Emperors Diocletian, Maximian, and Constantine the Great. At first, he was devoted to the ascetic life, but thanks to his virtuous life he was deemed worthy to become Archbishop of Myra in Lycia, Asia Minor. From this position, he led his flock with love, wisdom, and humility. He boldly confessed the truth and thus emerged as a “rule of faith and an image of gentleness,” as we hear in the Apolytikion for the Saint’s Feast.
Thanks to his great church work, he was arrested by jealous local governors and thrown into prison. When Constantine the Great became emperor, who issued the Milan Edict of Toleration, then all Christians were liberated, and so Nicholas returned to the archbishop’s throne. In fact, he took part in the Ecumenical Council of Nicea, Bithynia, in 325.
Gifted with the gift of miracle-working by the Holy Spirit, he saved many people while he was still alive and after his death. According to testimony from the Synod, Saint Nicholas confronted Arius with courage and determination for the sake of the Holy Orthodox Church.
Saint Nicholas is the patron of sailors, and the National Guard commemorates him as a patron saint of the Navy.
He died peacefully in AD 330, an example of a great hierarch and a virtuous man who knows, both in the time of persecution and in the age of freedom, to maintain his true Orthodox faith and to safeguard his sacred legitimacy and tradition.
Source: Church of Cyprus