So how have I been doing?
Work has been rough on me because of the high volume of customers we serve daily. Stress comes with the territory, especially since we’re in the thick of the holiday season. It’s made me sick on a couple occasions but I’m learning to handle the anxiety better, especially after I sought the help of my spiritual father. I’m not going to go into much more detail except to say this: be kind to the cashiers, sales associates, and other retail personnel whom you come in contact with. It knocks my socks off when a customer is concerned on making their transaction easier for me and ask how my day is with a smile. However, I may have a new job soon. Please pray for me in this matter.
I turned 24 on the 24th of November. It was a blessing to attend Liturgy, receive Holy Communion, and have Many Years sung to everyone with a birthday or anniversary in our parish plus getting wished a happy birthday by so many people in my parish that I lost count. I went out to eat with family after Liturgy, where I was quickly confronted with the realization that:
Thanksgiving was awesome but I could’ve done without the crowds at Golden Corral. I don’t like huge crowds because they make me anxious. I have got to cook next year, even if it means I buy pre-made biscuits so I don’t mess them up like I did my junior year of high school.
I know my activity has been waning since Lent but for good reason: I’m teaching myself moderation with Tumblr and the rest of the Internet. My activity did the same when I started where I’m working now and most recently in November when I participated in National Novel Writing Month. I wrote fifty thousand words in a month’s time and I thank Christ for allowing me the strength to achieve such a goal, with special thanks to the Theotokos, Saint Elizabeth the New Martyr (my patron), and Saint John the Theologian for their intercessions. My story may change but I grew as a fiction writer, which is why I participated.
And what may be my biggest piece of news is that I will be moving soon. A friend of mine approached me and I have been discussing a roommate agreement with them and another person. I’m an adult now so it had to happen some time but I’m sure you’ll empathize with all the moving out jitters I have. Please pray for me and especially for my two roommates. We have a property that we agree on but we have to wait to apply for a couple reasons. It’s making the three of us a bit nervous but for good reason.
I made Confession tonight after Vespers service and will be praying a Typika at home since Divine Liturgy has been cancelled on account of ice. Send me the names of those whom I can pray for in my ask box if you would like me to commemorate anyone.
Pray for me, a sinner.
Saint Nicholas (Nikolaus, Bishop of Myra)
Nicholas, was probably born during the third century in the village of Patara, in what is now the southern coast of Turkey. He was born of very wealthy ethnic black Anatolians of the ancient Roman Empire.
Nicholas’ wealthy parents died in an epidemic while Nicholas was still young. Being a devout Christian, he followed the words of Jesus to “sell what you own and give the money to the poor.”
Nicholas used his whole inheritance to assist the needy, the sick, and the suffering. He was made the Bishop of Myra while still a young man. The high office of Nicholas at such a young age speaks to dominant role played by black Anatolians and Africans in creating the church as we know it today. Bishop Nicholas was known throughout the land for his generosity to the those in need, his love for children, and his concern for sailors and ships.
Under the Roman Emperor Diocletian, Bishop Nicholas suffered for his faith, was exiled and imprisoned.
After his release, Nicholas attended the Council of Nicaea in AD 325, where he worked with other early fathers of the church to establish the standardized christian doctrine of today. He died December 6, AD 343 in Myra and was buried in his cathedral church, where a unique relic, called manna, formed in his grave.
The remains of Saint Nicholas are interred in the crypt of the Basilica di San Nicola in Bari, Italy. These bones were temporarily removed when the crypt was repaired during the 1950s. At the Vatican’s request, anatomy professor Luigi Martino from the University of Bari, took thousands of minutely-detailed measurements and x-ray photographs (roentgenography) of the skull and other bones.
The current professor of forensic pathology at the University of Bari, Francesco Introna, knew advancements in diagnostic technique could yield much more from the data gathered in the 1950s. So he engaged an expert facial anthropologist, Caroline Wilkinson, at the University of Manchester in England, to construct a model of the saint’s head from the earlier measurements.
Using this data, the medical artist used state-of-the-art computer software to develop this model of St. Nicholas.
1. Saint Nicholas, c. 1760. Egg tempera on wood with metal riza (possibly silver), 10½” x 12½”. Museum of Russian Icons, Clinton, MA. [x]
2. Sassetta, The Virgin with Four Saints (Saint Nicholas detail). c. 1435, Tempera on wood. Museo Diocesano, Cortona. [x]
4. Niklaus of Myra, Unknown Russian Icon painter, pre-1000s.
Reconstruction of Saint Nicholas [x]
Syrian rebels forcibly evacuated 12 nuns including the mother superior Pelagia Sayyaf from the Saint Tecla Orthodox convent in Maaloula (Reuters) Syrian Islamists affiliated with Al-Qaeda demanded the release of 1,000 female prisoners in exchange for the release of 12 kidnapped nuns.
Lord, have mercy! Please pray for the abducted Syrian nuns and the Syrian hierarchs who are still missing!
"Give thanks to God for the goodness that you see, and for the goodness that you do not see"
- HH Pope Shenouda III
Photos taken from valaam.ru
Today December 6th the Church in East and West celebrates the memory of Saint Nicholas, the bishop of Myra (today Demre in Turkey) and also known as Nicholas of Bari ( In 1087, part of the relics (about half of the bones) were furtively translated to Bari, in southeastern Italy; for this reason, he is also known as Nikolaos of Bari. The remaining bones were taken to Venice in 1100.)
He is equally loved and venerated in East and West as the great Wonder-Worker, friend of children and saviour of the innocent.
And it’s my beloved husband’s nameday. May Saint Nicholas bless you, Darling!
The Tonsure of Makrina the nun.
Before and after the Tonsure.
I love how you can see a different person on those two photos.