Despite the fact that we are still facing problems from COVID-19, with the help of God and the intercessions of St. Nicholas, the feast of his memory was celebrated again this year at the Cathedral of St. Nicholas in Seoul.
On Saturday, December 5, the Metropolitan of Korea Ambrosios, presided over the Great Vespers and the Artoclasia, at the end of which he delivered a sermon. At the beginning of his speech, he mentioned some verses from a wonderful Hymn (troparion) of the Vespers, which says: “Oh, Saint Nicholas, whose name means victory of the people, you have emerged as a victory of the faithful. Because wherever they invite you, you always run willingly to put everyone under your protection. Because night and day you save from temptations and difficult circumstances those who seek you and invoke you in faith “. Nowadays the COVID-19 pandemic has brought us to our knees. We do humanly what we can. Scientists, doctors and nurses are making extraordinary efforts to solve this global problem, for which we are deeply grateful. Yet, they cannot work miracles. Doctors are not miracle workers! Only the Almighty God works miracles with the intercessions of His Saints, His Friends. With just one word, the Lord can eradicate the new coronavirus from the face of the earth. We, too, can also contribute to this miracle. How; First, with our unceasing prayers to the Physician of our souls and bodies. With our warm prayers to the Saints. To Saint Nicholas, who, like all Saints, hears our prayers much more on the day of his feast. Second, we will contribute to the miracle with our sincere repentance. Let us imitate the repentance of the Ninevites. Three days of practical repentance were enough to save their city from disaster. Please, Saint Nicholas, help us to repent, so that God may have mercy on us and deliver us from this terrible pandemic. Amen.
The next day, Sunday December 6, due to government restrictions, only a small number of believers were able to come to church to participate in the service of Orthros and the Divine Liturgy. In his sermon, HE Metropolitan Ambrosios stated that “St. Nicholas is very popular because he is the protector of children, the poor, the wronged, the sick and sailors when they are in danger of turbulence. However, it is not only the sea that has storms. Our life has storms, too. The holy hymn writer calls Saint Nicholas “a serene harbor, in which those who seek refuge in it, afflicted by the storms of their lives, are saved.” Many storms afflict us, too: financial, family, social incurable diseases, pandemics, etc. Let us resort with faith to his protection. “We turn to you, Saint Nicholas, even now that the terrible pandemic of COVID-19 is tormenting us. We beg you to protect us from this terrible danger. Protect the elderly and those in vulnerable groups in particular. Heal, please, those who are sick with the coronavirus and intercede to the Lord to show His infinite mercy to the hard-hit human race. Amen”.
Just before the Dismissal, the clergy and the people knelt in prayer before the Icon of St. Nicholas and His miraculous Holy Relics and recited a special prayer for deliverance from the coronavirus and for the health of the whole world.