“The city of Bari rejoices, and with it all the universe rejoices with hymns”

936 years ago on this day in 1087, the relics of the holy hierarch and wonderworker Nicholas were transferred from Asia Minor to Italy.

For seven hundred years, the relics of the saint remained in Myra in Lycia, where he resided and served God and the neighbor. But in the eleventh century, when the Turks plundered the riches of the Greek empire in Asia Minor, destroying the towns and villages, killing its residents, desecrating the holy churches, the threat of desecration loomed over the relics of Saint Nicholas. In order to preserve the great relic, the Christians stole the relics of the saint and transported them to a secure location in the south of Italy in the city of Bari.

The commemoration of the transfer of the relics was accompanied by numerous miracles: more than a hundred afflicted were healed of their ailments. Saint Nicholas appeared in a dream to a devout monk at the time and said: “Behold, I came to you at God’s command and have already healed a hundred and eleven afflicted people. “From now on, I will never cease to offer healing.”

And so today, as we joyfully celebrate the translation of the relics of the Holy Hierarch Nicholas the Wonderworker, the Holy Church exults: “The day of joyous celebration has come: the city of Bari rejoices and with it all the universe rejoices singing songs and spiritual hymns; for today is the sacred celebration, the translation of the righteous and abundantly healing relics of the holy hierarch and the wonderworker Nicholas, who like the sun is shining with its luminous rays, dispelling the darkness of trials and tribulations from those who faithfully cry out: save us, as our intercessor, O great Nicholas.”

The Holy Hierarch Nicholas is beloved and revered in the Seraphim-Diveyevo monastery. Six altars are consecrated in his honor in the monastery and its sketes.

The major festivities took place in the St. Nicholas side chapel of the monastery’s Kazan Cathedral. On the eve of the feast and the commemoration day itself, the monastery’s Archpriest Alexander Naumov served the All-Night Vigil, paraklesis with water blessing prayer service and the late-morning Divine Liturgy.