Nicholas Comes Home

St Nicholas with brass oklad surrounded by scenes of his life
St. Nicholas Icon
St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church, Beit Jala
Photo: Alexis Koutlas
Used by permission

Just a few years ago, this icon of St. Nicholas was found by a parishioner, or someone, who greatly loved the Church of Saint Nicholas in Beit Jala, Palestine. (The church is built over the cave where tradition tells us Nicholas stayed when he visited the Holy Land as a young man.) The icon was in a shop owned by a Jewish merchant. The man bartered with the merchant to purchase the icon. However, the shopkeeper wouldn't sell it for the money offered, saying it was worth so much more.

The man went away disheartened, as he had no more money to offer.

That very night, St. Nicholas appeared to the merchant in a dream, telling him to take the icon to the church. St. Nicholas also told him how to find the church, saying the icon belonged in this church.

The next day the merchant came to the church with the gift of the icon. Though the amount discussed the day before was offered, the merchant refused to take anything, saying that this church is the icon's rightful home.

And that is how this icon came to be in the church.

Story told by a priest at St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church, Beit Jala, Palestine, through a translator, to Alexis Koutlas, St. Nectarios American Orthodox Cathedral, Seattle, Washington. Used by permission.

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