St. Nicholas Feeds the Athonite Fathers

during the Fascist Occupation

Italian Holy Card
Holy card: Italy
St. Nicholas Center Collection

“What are you doing?” the unknown priest asked. “Is this all the wheat you have? No more?”

The fathers at the Athonite monastery replied that this was all they had indeed. It was December, and they were unable to buy any more because of the Fascist Occupation. It should be noted that 10,000 okas weight of wheat was needed a year for the monastery’s survival, and that they could not even buy one oka of it.

The unknown priest took a few wheat kernels in his hand, blessed them and threw them on top of the rest of the wheat. He blessed the four points of the horizon, the monastery, and the sea, and then was about to leave.

“Where do you come from?” the fathers asked him. “Stay to have some bread and olives.”

“I come from very far away—from Myra in Lycia,” he said and departed.

One of the brothers had in the meantime gone for some food to offer the visitor, but the elder, who turned out to be the monastery’s protector, had vanished. The remaining 150 okas of blessed wheat lasted for half a year, that is, from the month of December when St. Nicholas appeared to them, until the following July when the new crop came in.


Book cover
From “On the Wondrous Interventions of the Mighty Right Hand of Divine Providence,” An Athonite Geronikon: Sayings of the Holy Fathers of Mount Athos, compiled by Archimandrite Ioannikios Kotsonis, translated from the Greek by sisters of the Holy Monastery of St. Gregory Palamas, published 2003 by Holy Monastery of St. Gregory Palamas in Thessaloniki. Revised edition.

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