St. Nicholas

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 Miracle of Prince Michael the Brave

Prince Michael the Brave (Mihai Viteazu), of Wallachia, was condemned to death by Prince Alexander the Evil One (Alexandru cel Rau), who feared he would lose the throne to Prince Michael.

On the way to his execution, Prince Michael asked to go into the church and to pray before the icon of Saint Nicholas. He prayed from the depths of his heart to escape death.

The guards and prince then continued on their way. Arriving at the the place of execution, the executioner, a former servant of the prince, threw the axe and ran. The ruler, Prince Alexander, was then forced to spare Michael's life. Prince Michael, thus, was miraculously rescued from a certain death.

Prince Michael the Brave was considered the "Prince of Christendom" because of his fierce battles with the Ottoman Turks. The Roman Catholic Archbishop of Bari honored the Prince with the gift of the holy relic of the right hand of Saint Nicholas for his work as a protector of Christianity in Europe. In return Michael sent two purses of gold coins as a donation to the St. Nicholas Basilica in Bari. He wore the sacred relic on his chest and over his heart in the battle of Calugareni on August 23, 1595.

After his miraculous rescue the Prince built Mihai Voda Monastery in Bucharest and he dedicated the relic to the 15th century Church of Saint George (Sf Gheorghe Nou), Bucharest, in 1599. The fifteenth century church was rebuilt in 1699 by the Wallachian prince and Neomartyr Saint Constantin Brâncoveanu to be the largest church in Bucharest. The relic of the Holy Hierarch Nicholas the Wonderworker is in the church to this day.

This event is mentioned in a chrysobull located in the Monastery of Simonopetra on Mount Athos, where Prince Michael is commemorated as one of its founders.

"The Right Hand of Saint Nicholas in Bucharest," Mystagogy.

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