Oil Does Not Fail

Another miraculous event occurred at the Monastery of Grigoriou on the feastday of St. Nicholas during the abbacy of Fr. Symeon.

St Nicholas with large fish
Saint Nicholas the Miracle Worker by Rumen Spasov
St Nicholas Center Collection

This time, the cellarer informed the Abbot that he would not be able to give any oil to the hermits. (At that time it was the custom give a certain amount of oil as a blessing to the poor ascetics who took part in the feast.)

“What is the difficulty?” asked the Abbot.

“We don’t have much oil. There is only half a jar left.”

“It doesn’t matter. Give them what is left.”

The cellarer obeyed. Portioning out the oil to the ascetics, he made them happy, but he himself did not feel any great joy. They had only a little oil left; now it would be completely gone. These were the thoughts dictated by his logic, and—even more—by his lack of faith. That which followed, however, and which he was the first to ascertain, brought new life to his faith in the providence and power of God. Their kind and compassionate protector, St. Nicholas, again intervened. The level of the oil in the jar did not go down at all, not even by one centimeter. It remained where it was before.

Thus the hermits received their alms, the Monastery suffered no loss, and the monk who was lacking in faith received a valuable lesson.


Adapted from Archmandrite Cherubim, Contemporary Ascetics of Mount Athos, Mystagogy.

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