"After my death our beloved Church abroad will break three ways .... first the Greeks will leave us as they were never a part of us ... then those who live for this world and its glory will go to Moscow ... what will remain will be those souls faithful to Christ and His Church." St. Philaret of NY 1985
Sermon: St. Nicholas Saves Girl From Suicide
He was the Metropolitan of the Russian Church Outside of Russia.
In the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
Not long ago, only a few days ago in fact, we commemorated the memory of one of the Lord's righteous ones, St. Philaret the Merciful (). Tomorrow we will again glorify another great servant of the Lord, St. Nicholas of Myra in Lycia of Asia Minor. So impressed by his miracles and torrents of love was our nation, that we have called him "the Merciful Nicholas."
A veritable ocean of wonders streamed forth during and after the life of St. Nicholas.
No one, it seems to us, performed so many miracles except possibly the recently canonized St. John of Kronstadt, who also gushed forth a sea of miracles. Toward the end of his life St. John was so overcome by the grace of the Holy Spirit that one might say he performed miracles just as he walked along his way. A blind man comes with a request: "Father, pray for me!" After a short prayerful appeal to God, Father John touches his eyes with his sanctifying fingers and the former blind man walks away, his sight restored.
We know of many miracles performed by St. Nicholas, but I would like to tell you of which is little known.
At the end of the last century, when the Russian intelligentsia was taken by the idea of women's emancipation, a certain young girl was inflamed by the desire to go to the capital, there to study and help people.
Her mother, a God-fearing woman, pleaded tearfully against her going, because she foresaw no good was to come of it. But the girl was adamant. As she was leaving, her weeping mother blessed her with an icon of St. Nicholas; the girl accepted the icon and left. When she got to the city, however, one trouble followed the next. The little money she had taken with her did not last long. The landlady threatened to evict her. She couldn't go back - her young pride wouldn't permit it; besides, there wasn't enough money for the return trip.
She suffered hardship and hunger. The ad she had placed in the newspaper for a job teaching brought no response. In utter despair, she decided to commit suicide. Having prepared the poison, her tearful eyes caught sight of the icon of St. Nicholas hanging above her on the wall. She prayerfully turned to him and said: "St. Nicholas, forgive me the sinner; I see no way out." She lifted the glass of poison to her mouth…but suddenly something hit her hard on her head and hands. The glass of poison fell and broke. She turned and saw that the icon of St. Nicholas, without any reason at all, had fallen off the wall and right on her.
Shocked, she stood in tears as she heard the knock on the door. She opened the door and there stood a man, staring at the weeping girl who stood by the broken glass and spilled liquid. As it happened, he had come in answer to her ad and to offer her a very good job, which she accepted, thus ending her problems.
Thus did S. Nicholas save the girl, who was standing at the brink of destruction. We know that often he performs such acts of kindness even when we do not ask his assistance.
Though many prayerful appeals will be addressed to St. Nicholas on the day of his feast, have faith that he will hear your voice and will answer each call of your faith and prayer, now as in times gone by. We only need faithful prayer and hope, and his help will come speedily. Amen.