The sails were torn, and it seemed that the vessel itself would be crushed by the mighty waves.
The passengers were in despair of their lives when they remembered the great hierarch Nicholas.
Although none of them had ever seen him, they had heard that he was the quick helper of those who call on him in misfortune, so they turned to him in prayer, begging his assistance.
The saint immediately appeared, announcing, “You called for me, and I have come to help you!”
He took the helm and began piloting the ship, calming the storm, as once did the Lord, Who said, He that believeth on Me, the works that I do shall he do also.
Because he was a faithful servant of God, Nicholas gave commands to the wind and sea and they obeyed him. Sped by a fair wind, the boat reached Myra, and the passengers disembarked, hoping to see the holy Bishop.
They met the saint on his way to church, and recognizing their benefactor, fell at his feet, thanking him.
The wondrous Nicholas did not merely deliver them from danger of physical death, but took thought for the salvation of their souls as well.
Because he was clairvoyant, he perceived that some of the passengers were defiled by fornication, which estranges a man from God and causes him to neglect the Lord’s commandments.
“Children,” he said to them, “I beseech you to correct your hearts and thoughts, so that you may be pleasing to God. Consider that although we may reckon ourselves to be righteous and frequently succeed in deceiving men, we can conceal nothing from God. Let us therefore strive to preserve the holiness of our souls and to guard the purity of our bodies with all fervor.” […]
So saying, the blessed one, like a loving father, let them depart in peace.
Saint Nicholas’ countenance resembled that of an angel, splendid with divine grace. A brilliant ray shone from his face, as from Moses’, so that those who looked at him were astonished.
Whoever was oppressed by some affliction or passion of soul had only to lay eyes on the saint, and his sorrow was eased at once. As for those who conversed with him, they soon found themselves advancing on the path of virtue.
Not only the faithful but unbelievers as well were moved to compunction and directed their steps toward salvation when they heard his sweet lips speak; the evil of unbelief implanted in their hearts since childhood was uprooted, and in its place the word of truth was sown.
Dimitri of Rostov (1651-1709; Russian Orthodox): The Life of Our Father Among the Saints Nicholas the Wonder-worker, Archbishop of Myra in Lycia from The Great Collection of the Lives of the Saints, Volume 2: October, compiled by St. Demetrius of Rostov @ Chrysostom Press.