O Lord Thou shalt open my lips and my mouth shall declare Thy praise.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

St. Nick Gives Arius A Lump of Coal

Icon of St. Nicholas the Wonderworker, Archbishop of Myra in Lycia. At the Council of
Nicaea, St. Nicholas famously pulled the notorious heretic Arius by his beard and punched
him in the face. St. Nicholas was expelled from the council for this and stripped of his
Gospel book (which symbolizes his teaching authority) and his omophorion (which
symbolizes his sacramental authority). Later that night his Gospel and omophor were restored
by Christ and the Mother of God in a vision (shown in the icon), showing that he was right to
condemn the heretic, even though many in the Church found it "uncharitable" and wanted
"dialogue" on the issue of Arianism.