Nicholas Archbishop of Myra in Lycia

A story about our beloved Father among the Saints

An Interactive St. Nicholas Story

Interactive story with audience responses to five phrases. Before telling the story, have the audience practice the responses several times; responses should be given in an exaggerated, dramatic fashion. The phrases with responses:

Old man: Ohh!
Beautiful Daughters: Ahh!
Handsome Young Men: Aha!
Good Saint Nicholas: Good!
loved God: Amen!
Nicholas at window, family praying
Scene from icon triptych of St. Nicholas
Sofrino, Russia, 2010
St. Nicholas Center Collection

Once upon a time there was a poor old man [Ohh!] who had three beautiful daughters [Ahh!]. The three beautiful daughters [Ahh!] desired to be married. But the poor man [Ohh!] could not afford the dowry that would be required for any of his beautiful daughters [Ahh!]. However, there came a time when the oldest of the beautiful daughters [Ahh!], whose name was Thecla, fell in love with a handsome young man [Aha!]. She went to seek permission from her father to marry him, but he answered, "I am a poor old man [Ohh!], and since I have nothing for your dowry, I’m afraid that you will have to go into the streets and become a beggar for the rest of your life." Well, this made his beautiful daughter [Ahh!], Thecla, very sad indeed! "What am I to do?" she cried. She was afraid that what her father said would come true.

Now, not very far away, in the city of Myra in Lycia, there lived a very holy and righteous and good bishop named Nicholas [Good!], who loved God [Amen!]. Good Bishop Nicholas [Good!], who loved God [Amen!], heard about the poor man [Ohh!], and his beautiful daughter [Ahh!] who wanted to marry the handsome young man [Aha!].

Wanting to help the poor man [Ohh!], he set out secretly in the middle of the night with a small bag of gold, which was his very own, by which to pay the dowry. Good Bishop Nicholas [Good!] sneaked up to the window of the beautiful daughter [Ahh!] and threw the sack of gold inside.

The next morning, Thecla, the oldest of the beautiful daughters [Ahh!] found the sack of gold. She showed it to the poor man [Ohh!] and said, "Look, Father, someone has left us this bag of gold. Now I can use it for my dowry and marry the handsome young man [Aha!]." The poor man [Ohh!] rejoiced and set out to plan the marriage at once!

Now, while the old man [Ohh!] was busy preparing for the marriage, his two other beautiful daughters [Ahh!] came up to him and said, "Father, we too have found handsome young men (aha) and we would like to be married as well!" "How can this be?" cried the poor old man [Ohh!]. "We now have only enough money to pay for your sister’s dowry; you will have to go into the streets and become beggars for the rest of your lives!" This made the two beautiful daughters [Ahh!] very sad.

Well, as it turned out, news of these further complications also reached good Bishop Nicholas [Good!], who loved God [Amen]. He said to himself, "This is so sad, I must take all the money I have left and go help those two beautiful daughters [Ahh!] also!" He set out late that night with two more small bags of gold. He crept up to the window where the beautiful daughters [Ahh!] were sleeping.

When they awoke the next morning, the two beautiful daughters [Ahh!] found the bags of gold left by good Bishop Nicholas [Good!], who loved God [Amen], and showed them to their father, saying, "Look! Someone has left us two more bags of gold! Now we too will have dowry and can marry the handsome young men [Aha!].

It just so happened that the youngest handsome young man [Aha!] who, by the way, was named Thaddeus, and who was to marry the youngest beautiful daughter [Ahh!] who, by the way, was named Caritas, found out that it was none other than good Bishop Nicholas [Good!], who loved God [Amen!], who had left the bags of gold for the dowries. Thaddeus went to see him to thank him personally. But when he arrived at the bishop’s house, good Bishop Nicholas [Good!], who loved God [Amen], told this handsome young man [Aha!] not to tell a living soul about how the gold was put into the poor man’s [Ohh!] house. He told him simply to go back home and marry Caritas and to always love God [Amen].

And so it came to pass that the three beautiful daughters [Ahh!] married the three handsome young men [Aha!] and together with their father, the poor man [Ohh!] and the good Bishop Nicholas [Good!], they all lived happily ever after.

And they all loved God [Amen!] very much! Amen.

From St. Philip Orthodox Church, Souderton, Pennsylvania, author unknown. Used by permission.

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