Community chanted an Akathist composed by St. Nikolai of Zhicha, gathered at the site of his repose in the Seminary’s main building.
South Canaan, Pa (March 18, 2016) -- At the initial request of seminarians asking to specially mark the Feast Day of St. Nikolai of Zhicha, they discovered, together with Fr. Steven, seminary dean, that this is the 60th anniversary of his repose at St. Tikhon’s Seminary. Members of the Seminary community gathered outside the saint’s former room to chant an Akathist and venerate his Icon and relics.
St. Nikolai, who is known internationally for his numerous theological and spiritual writings, including the Prologue from Ohrid, spent the last five years of his life here at St. Tikhon’s, where he taught classes, mentored seminarians, and served as the Seminary’s Rector. To learn more about the life of St. Nikolai, click here to see a write-up from the 1986 Tikhonaire.
He reposed on March 18, 1956 in his room in the seminary’s main building. A commemorative photo and short bio hangs in the hallway outside his former room (see photo in slideshow), serving as a daily reminder of his presence and protection.
The Akathist, written by St. Nikolai and dedicated to Jesus, the Conqueror of Death, was composed on Pascha, 1923. At that time St. Nikolai was Bishop of Ohrid. He had earlier composed “Prayers by the Lake” bearing the same name. For today’s service, one of the Prayers by the Lake focusing on prayer to Jesus as King and God, made public on Ancient Faith Radio, was read as the prayer after the Akathist. Then all gathered sang the Magnification for St. Nikolai before venerating his icon bearing relics.
Fr. Steven was joined for the Akathis by seminarians, faculty and administrative team members, and Fr. Stephen Kopestonsky. At the conclusion of the service he noted: “we take this opportunity today to prayerfully remember one of our saints who have walked on these grounds, and ask his intercession before Christ our Lord for our ongoing efforts toward pastoral formation: for the faculty, the seminarians, and all who continue to labor here.” “O Venerable Father Hierarch Nikolai, pray unto God for us!”