St Nicholas—Saved from Shipwreck

by Linda Funk

Script for a simple vignette that may be performed by children, especially for a St. Nicholas event.

Ship on sea
Miracle of St. Nicholas on the Sea
Nemad Jakposan'c, Yugoslavia, ca 1980
St. Nicholas Center Collection


With lines to memorize

Mime only, no speaking parts


Monk: black cassock
High stool, optional

MONK sits on high stool or stands. If able, the actor could ad lib the story to make the telling more engaging.
CROWD sits or stands around MONK as he tells them his story. All watch him attentively and can make facial expressions as appropriate to the story—puzzled, surprised, shocked, joyful, affirming . . . .

"I am a monk from Grigoriou Monastery on Mount Athos. In Macedonia, there is another church that is dependent on our Monastery. One or two times a year, always in the summer, we visit by sea in a small boat from the Monastery. One time I was traveling with two brothers to this church, but at a particular point between two peninsulas there was an unusual calm even though we rowed steadily. The annoying lull got me thinking of an inevitable great evil. My anxiety was high, though without reason. It was something like a premonition. The brothers begged me for all of us to take a break from rowing so we could rest. However, I urged them to speed up, as if something was leading me away from imminent danger. We had to reach the coast as soon as possible. A slight breeze helped us considerably. We reached the shore, we disembarked, and we pulled in the boat.

"Meanwhile a cloud appeared above one of the two peninsulas, which grew increasingly dark. It was a harbinger of terrible evil. What a terrible outburst followed! A rare windy storm, a stove pipe as they say. As we arrived all the residents gathered, and they were amazed and perplexed, looking at us while crossing themselves. They confessed that Saint Nicholas rescued us. We stayed a few days, equipped ourselves, got food, and departed.

"What a spectacle we saw as we returned! Everywhere we passed: shipwrecks. In two ports, all the ships anchored there were stranded or submerged. The entire southwest sides of the nearby peninsulas were affected by the storm. As we reached the Monastery we saw a shocking sight: a ship full of timber was submerged.

"Avoiding any comment about our own situation, I can only emphasize the vague anxiety I had felt earlier as we were rowing. Was it not a profound and vivid intervention of the Saint that our lives were saved?"

Entire Cast stands to sing:

O Who Loves Nicholas the Saintly?

O who loves Nicholas the saintly?
O who loves Nicholas the saintly?
Him will Nicholas receive,
And give help in time of need:
Holy Father Nicholas!
He who dwells in God's holy mansions,
Is our help on the land and oceans,
He will guard us from all ills,
Keep us pure and free from sins:
Holy Father Nicholas!
Holy Saint, hearken to our prayer,
Let not life drive us to despair,
All our efforts shall not wane,
Singing praises to your name:
Holy Father Nicholas!

Sources: Saved from Shipwreck, adapted from Archimandrite Cherubim, Contemporary Ascetics of Mount Athos, Mystagogy.

By Linda Funk, St. Vincent of Lerins Orthodox Church, Saskatoon, Canada. Used by permission.

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