The St. Nikolai Mission in Whitehorse, Yukon is blessed to have as its patron saint, the great 20th century missionary Bishop, Saint Nikolai of Zhicha and South Canaan. A devoted witness to Jesus Christ, he was truly a saint for modern times, he served both in Europe and in North America.
Along with our sister Church in Billings, Montana, our Mission is one of the first Orthodox communities dedicated to the Holy Bishop, Nikolai.
Saint Nikolai is perhaps best known for his compilation of the famous Prologue from Ochrid, which recounts the lives of the saints for each day of the year, along with other spiritual exhortations. Many Orthodox Christians, start each day with prayer and reading from the day’s excerpt from this Prologue.
Holy Bishop Nikolai also was a great poet and man of prayer, as is witnessed in his book Prayers by the Lake. This collection of 100 profound prayers is a true marvel of the depth of the communion with God that St. Nikolai modeled, and that – by God’s grace – we are all invited to participate in.
“Patience, forgiveness and joy are the three greatest characteristics of divine love. They are characteristics of all real love – if there is such a thing as real love outside divine love. Without these three characteristics, love is not love. If you give the name ‘love’ to anything else, it is as though you were giving the name ‘sheep’ to a goat or a pig.”
-St. Nikolai (Velimirovic) of Zhitsa
- Here are the hymns that the Church sings in honour of our blessed patron.
Holy Bishop Nikolai, pray to God for us!
Troparion – Tone 8
O golden-tongued preacher proclaiming the risen Christ,
Everlasting guide of the cross-bearing Serbian people,
Resounding harp of the Holy Spirit, and dear to monastics who rejoice in you,
Pride and boast of the priesthood, teacher of repentance, master for all nations,
Guide of those in the army of Christ as they pray to God,
Holy Nicholas teacher in America and pride of the Serbian people,
With all the saints, implore the only Lover of mankind
To grant us peace and joy in his heavenly kingdom!
Troparion – Tone 4
In truth you were revealed to your flock as a rule of faith,
an image of humility and a teacher of abstinence;
your humility exalted you; your poverty enriched you.
Hierarch Father Nicholai,
entreat Christ our God
that our souls may be saved.
Kontakion – Tone 3
Born at Lelich in Serbia,
you served as archpastor at the church of Saint Nahum in Ochrid.
You presided on the throne of Saint Sava at Zhicha,
teaching the people of God and enlightening them with the Gospel,
bringing them to repentance and love for Christ.
And for His sake you endured suffering at Dachau.
Therefore, Nicholai, we glorify you as one newly well pleasing to God.