How Nicholas Became a Bishop

Bishop consecrating Nicholas
Detail: The Life & Miracles of Saint Nicholas
Artist: Alexander Boguslawski

A very long time ago, after the Bishop of Myra died, the other bishops in Lycia gathered to select the new bishop for the See of Myra. As they met, they discussed and prayed, but could not discern who would be the right choice.

One night, the oldest and wisest bishop heard a voice in the night telling him to watch the doors of the church the next morning before matins. The first person to enter the church by the name of "Nicholas" was to be the new bishop. This wise bishop shared his vision with the others, urging them to pray while he waited at the doors.

As the time for morning prayer drew near, the first person to come was a young man. The waiting bishop asked, "What is your name?" "I am Nicholas," came the reply. "Nicholas, servant and friend of God, for your holiness you shall be bishop of this place," said the bishop.

Nicholas protested he was not worthy to be named bishop. He said he was too young and inexperienced for such great responsibility. All the bishops said it was God's will for Nicholas to be the new bishop.

They brought him into the church and placed him in the bishop's seat. There he was to be consecrated the new Bishop of Myra. Nicholas promised to bring the Gospel of Christ to the people and defend the faith from all those who would attack it.

Nicholas, Bishop of Myra, lived his life in faithful service to God; he was protector of the poor and helpless, advocate of justice for those in need, and faithful defender of the Christian faith.

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