St. Nicholas, the most celebrated saint among us, Serbs, was put through many transformations and with each of these unnatural and forced changes of his holy image he got distanced from himself and we got distanced from apprehending and celebrating this saint the way he deserves
St. Nicholas is the “ideal of faith and an example of compliance”. He “reached heights in modesty, and wealth in poverty”
Those who let Grandpa Frost down the sooty chimneys of their homes for their children, speaking of that, I do not know how they did it in the concrete high-rises, probably had no idea that their Grandpa Frost, politically suitable and fitting those godless times, was in fact our St. Nicholas
Holy Father Nikolai, “an image of altruism”, “father to the orphans, generous giver to the poor, consoler of all in sorrow, and a great protector of all”, “great before God and before all people”, as we can read in the story of his life, “he was all spiritual, talking through the spirit and serving God, during the reformation storm that erased his holy image, he was transformed into a chubby grandpa of rosy cheeks and rosy nose who, carried by the reindeer, sails through the sky and brings presents to all good children down the smouldering chimneys
From Saint Nicholas, by linguistic manoeuvres, he was first altered to Santa Claus, and finally, by the godless Bolshevik power, he was modified to Grandpa Frost. Protestants, who erased all saints from their souls and their calendars, Quakers, for example, who banned celebrating Christmas, needed to divert the attention from God and Christmas to something that they had already adapted to themselves, and they used this great man of God for their evil doing. In the thirties of the last century, the ungracious, American, advertising consumer machinery has put a pipe in Santa Clause’s mouth – because there was a need to promote and sell the toxic tobacco around the world – and a bottle of Coca Cola in his right hand, so that even that sugary poison could be sent to all the places on Earth. And the godless Bolsheviks found Santa Claus, and especially Christmas, unsuitable, so they invented Grandpa Frost for their followers and the poor people
It is a well-known detail from his saintly life, when in order to save a poor man from shame and his daughters from a deadly sin, Saint Nicholas, secretly, during night so no one could see him, left gifts for the poor girls so they could decently marry. When the father of the girls, who was persistently keeping watch every night, “caught him in his act”, Holy Father Nikolai, “made him swear by taking many oaths, to never in his life say anything about what had happened to him.” Hence, the tradition of leaving lovely little gifts for children in their shoes, or on the windowsills on Saint Nicholas Day
The Western World has created an absolute opposite of such a great saint. Because they could have accepted him only as such.
People very easily fell for the fraud, and such image of the holy man remains and spreads for the purpose of commercialism and profit
Unfortunately, many Serbs, when times were turbid, have taken the holy icons off the walls and started celebrating Grandpa Frosty
Despite everything that has happened, St. Nicholas is the most prevalent Serbian Slava. Even in the broz-enduos times, in Belgrade, and probably in all of Serbia, the power usage was at its yearly peak and measured on that day. It was said: half of the population of Belgrade were the hosts celebrating St. Nicholas, and the other half were the guests.
Аnd I would like to warn, or to kindly ask, if that is more acceptable, that, if we proclaim to be Christians, and celebrate St. Nicholas, we do it in a way that good St. Nicholas deserves, and in his goodness accepts from us sinners
When we celebrate men of God, we need to remember the human dimension of their sanctitude. We define saints in many ways. The title of Father truly suits St. Nicholas, the Bishop of Myra. He is our Holy Father; he is the embodiment of kindness and generosity. Let’s not forget though, that same, kind St. Nicholas, when he couldn’t bear anymore the insulting of our Lord and His Mother, Holy Virgin, by the heretic Arius, he slapped him hard on the face. Lord did not take it amiss, and He showed His regard for St. Nicholas in a very clear and distinct way
This teaches us to leave that: “Good day neighbourhood, on all four sides”, and to firmly keep what we inherited from our blood ancestors and our spiritual fathers and forefathers. We have no right to vend irresponsibly that treasure, for the sake of our daily needs or adaptations to this world that already lies in the power of the evil. (1 John 5:19
On this occasion, it occurred to me to express my – some might say heretic – opinion regarding this world: “We, the Serbs, should start thinking of returning to our true roots, and to stop, once and for all, chasing that soulless and faithless “Yeurope” (Europe). We would have to go back 200, 300 years, so that we could find our way, from which we were redirected to that unfortunate “Yeurope” by the unfrocked, and to some other religion converted Dositej, and his friend, of another spectrum, however, as it seems, of the same type, of Vatican, Vuk the Limp
Our Holy Father Nicholas is the best example of what that “Yeurope” does to a sanctitude
It is Christmas Lent. The purpose of this lent is that we, turned from our usual life to our spiritual side, prepare for the coming of God Himself to our vicinity and our surroundings. Because our Lord, comes from the unspoken heavenly glory to us, his sinful children, to save us with his unearthly sacrifice, “so that we might receive adoption to sonship” (Galatians 4:5), “so then we are no longer strangers and aliens, but we are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God” (Ephesians 2:19
Our Lord’s sacrifice is big, while we are asked for a very small sacrifice of obedience, to prove our love to God by fasting, and to show that we are ready to respond to his immense love with a bit of our love
Holy Father Nikolai had spent all of his life fasting. Since he was breastfed, he fasted. “His clothes were simple, his food was Lenten, and he was taking it only once a day, in the evening.” Does such holy man not deserve that, if we want to celebrate him, we at least do it in a way that is close to the example he had set, and that we do not bring to the already plentiful table the “inevitable” pork! If we do not care enough to appease him, let’s not anger him at least
That episode with a slap on Arius’s face was told to remind us of a different St. Nicholas
You have probably heard the saying “Vara – vari; Sava – ladi, a Nikola – kusa.” (Vara – cooks, Sava – cools, and Nikola – tastes). I will remind you what our people meant by this
The holiday of St. Nicholas is preceded by two holidays: December 4/17 is dedicated to Saint Barbara the Great Martyr. That’s the martyr who was beheaded by her own father because she did not want to deny God. The following day is dedicated to Ven. Sabbas the Sanctified. Our own St. Sava, when he became a monk, took the name of this man of God.These two great saints are enclosed by the celebration of the Holy Father Nikolai, the Archbishop of Myra
In the times when we were conscious of ourselves, and we held on tight to our true roots, when we used to make kingdoms crumble, wearing ripped peasant shoes (opanke) and eating only hardened bread crust, we knew and followed our traditions, so we cooked God’s grains (wheat) on the day of St. Barbara, on the day of St. Sabbas we left the cooked grains to cool, and on the day of St. Nicholas we tasted the grains and served it to our guests
I should stop here, but I cannot resist saying: It’s better to not celebrate, yes- I repeat, it is better to not celebrate then to anger God and his holy man, our Holy Father Nikolai
I said it – and I saved my soul.