Saint Nicholas Rescues a Geologist
In late autumn the sea surrounding the Solovetsky Islands is already covered with ice. E was a young geologist taking part in an expedition exploring the islands. Once at night the wind and ice floes carried her boat and cast it ashore in a completely unfamiliar deserted place.
She was a believer from childhood and all the time she prayed to Saint Nicholas for salvation. She decided to walk along the coast hoping to eventually come across someone’s dwelling. Suddenly she saw an old man who asked her where she was going.
“I’m walking along the coast to find people.” she answered.
“Do not go there. You won’t find anyone here for hundreds of miles. Do you see that distant hill over there? Go there instead, climb it and then you will see where to go.
She looked in the direction pointed by the old man and when she looked back at him, he was no longer in front of her. She realized that it was Saint Nicholas himself who had shown her the way, and hurried to the hill. From there, she noticed a small house in the distance and headed to it. The hut belonged to a fisherman and his family. The fisherman was very surprised at her appearance in that completely deserted place. He confirmed that she would not have found any dwelling for hundreds of miles along the coast and would certainly have died of hunger and cold.
This is how Nicholas saved the unfortunate geologist from death. Was she rescued because of her piety? There are many cases when the Lord saves unrighteous people. He is rightly called the Lover of mankind Who loves the righteous and has mercy to sinners.
“Why Are You Sleeping?”
This is a story that a World War II veteran named Nikolai once told a priest.
“I managed to escape from German captivity. I was making my way through the occupied Ukraine, walking at night and hiding somewhere during the day. Once, after another restless night I fell asleep in the morning, hiding in a field of rye. Suddenly someone woke me up. I saw in front of me an old man wearing a priestly attire. The old man said,
– Why are you sleeping? The Germans will arrive here right now.
I was scared and asked,
– Where should I run to?
The priest said,
– You see these bushes? Run there quickly.
I turned to run but immediately realized that I had not thanked the old man. I turned around… but he was already gone. Somehow I realized that it was St Nicholas himself who was my patron saint and now also my savior.
With all my strength, I rushed to run towards the bushes. I saw a narrow river flowing just before the bushes began, so I threw myself into the water, got to the other side and hid in the bushes. I looked out of the tousle and saw the Germans walking along the rye accompanied by a dog. The dog led them straight to the place where I was sleeping. It circled there and then led the Germans to the river. Then I slowly began to make my way further and further through the bushes.
The river hid my trail from the dog, and I safely escaped the pursuit.
“He Came off the Icon, As If By a Ladder”
Our friend Alla’s great-grandmother was a very religious person. She had many old books and icons. However, her daughter grew up after the revolution as an unbeliever.
When she was in her fifties, she developed a perforated stomach ulcer. Her condition was serious, and her life was in danger.
She underwent an operation and was soon discharged from the hospital. The doctors warned her that if she did not eat, she would die. However, eating was difficult for her. She did not want to make the effort and ate nothing, becoming weaker and weaker every day.
Her bed was in the “holy corner”, just underneath an icon of St Nicholas. One day she suddenly saw Saint Nicholas descending from the icon, as if by a ladder. His height was the same as depicted on the icon. Approaching her, he began to console her and persuade her, “You need to eat, my dear, otherwise you can die.” Then he went back to his place on the icon. On the same day, she asked for food and soon began to recover.
She lived until the age of eighty-seven years old and passed away as a true Christian.
Translated by The Catalogue of Good Deeds