St. Nicholas is Coming!


Student Exhibition and More!

Join us at the Shrine of St. Anthony in Ellicott City, MD Saturday, December 8 and Sunday, December 9th from 11:00 am til 7:00 pm.  We will enjoy two day of Prayer and Practice and will be exhibiting students icons in the Kolbe Room and using the halls to exhibit the icons.

Stop in for a visit with our guild members and see how an icon is hand made using traditional Russian-Byzantine methods as taught by the Prosopon School of Iconology, founded by Master Iconographer, Vladislav Andrejev.  Purchase a ticket to win the beautiful icon of St. Nicholas (feast day December 6) made by the hand of Tatiana Gubenko, Instructor of the school.  You will also have the opportunity to register on-site for the 6 day icon workshop taught by Vladislav Andrejev in May, 2019.  Register prior to January 1 and enjoy 2018 rates–they will rise January 1st! Registration is also available on-line, just follow this link and click on Workshops and Events for the form 

Due to the Christmas holidays, we will have no guild meeting on December 30 however we are working on the new schedule for 2019–increasing our prayers and practice to Saturday and Sundays several times a month and a dates in between.

We invite you to stay for Greccio Living Nativity located at the Red Barn (outside) which begins at 7:30 pm both December 8 & 9.  Refreshments provided by the St. Joseph of Cupertino Fraternity of the Secular Franciscans.

With Christmas upon us,  I’d like to share a little story my  Mother read to us as children and why Saint Nicholas reminds all the reason for the season:

This is how it happened … Mother had just finished the household chores for the evening and was preparing to go to bed when she heard a noises in the front of the home.  Mother opened the door to the front room and to her great surprise, St. Nicholas stepped out from behind the Christmas tree!  He placed his finger over his lips so Mother would not cry out.  “What are you doing?”  Mother started to ask.  The words choked up in her throat, as she saw tears in St. Nicholas’s eyes.  Hi usual jolly manner was gone.  Gone was the eager, boisterous soul we have come to expect.  He answered Mother with a simple request.

“TEACH THE CHILDREN!”  Mother was puzzled; whatever did he mean?  Anticipating Mother’s question, and with one quick movement he brought forth a miniature toy bag from behind the tree.  Mother was bewildered as St. Nicholas stated again “Teach the children!  Teach them the meaning of Christmas.  The meaning that seems to have been forgotten.”  St. Nicholas then reached into the toy bag and pulled out a FIR TREE and placed it before the mantle.  “Teach the children that the pure green color of the stately fir tree remains green all year round, depicting the everlasting hope of mankind–all the needles point heavenward, making it a symbol of man’s thoughts turning toward Heaven.

Again, St. Nicholas reached into his bag and pulled out a brilliant STAR.  “Teach the children that the star is the heavenly sign of promises long ago.  God promised a Savior for the world, and the star was the sign of the fulfillment of His promise.”  Reaching into the bag for the third time, he pulled out a CANDLE.  “Teach the children that the candle symbolizes that Christ is the Light of the world and when we see this great light we are reminded of He who displaces darkness.”

Reaching into his bag for the fourth time, he pulled out a WREATH and placed it on the tree.  “Teach the children the wreath symbolizes the real nature of love.  Real love never ceases.  Love is one continuous round of affection.”   The fifth time he reached in, he pulled an ornament of himself.  “Teach the children that I, St. Nicholas symbolize the generosity and good will we feel during the month of December.”  The sixth time he reached in, he then brought out a HOLLY LEAF.  “Teach the children that the holly plant represents immortality.  It represents the crown of thorns worn by our Savior.  The red holly represents the blood shed by Him.”  Next, he pulled a GIFT from his bag and said “Teach the children that God so loved the world that HE gave HIS ONLY BEGOTTEN SON … Thanks be to God for his unspeakable gift!”  “Teach the children that wise men bowed before the HOLY BABE and presented HIM with gold, frankincense and myrrh.  We should always give gifts in the same spirit of the wise men.”

Pulling a CANDY CANE from his bag, St. Nicholas gently hung it on the branches of the fir tree.  “Teach the children that the candy cane represents the Shepherds’ crook.  The crook on the staff helps to bring back strayed sheep back into the flock.  The candy cane is a symbol that we are our brother’s keeper.”   It seemed that the bag held endless treasures and once again, St. Nicholas pulled out a figure of an angel.  “Teach the children that it was the angels that heralded the glorious news of the Savior’s birth.  The angels sang ‘Glory to God in the highest, on earth peace and good will toward men.”

Mother heard a soft twinkling sound coming from the bag and St. Nicholas offered the bag toward her.  “Ring this little BELL” he said.  “Teach the children that as the lost sheep are found by the sound of the bell, it should bring mankind back into the fold.  The bell symbolizes guidance and return.”  St. Nicholas was pleased that Mother was listening intently and drinking in each of his words to her.  With a twinkle in his eye, he said “Remember, teach the children the true meaning of Christmas and do not put me in the center, for I am but a humble servant of the One that IS, and I bow down to worship HIM, our Lord, our GOD.”  ~ Author unknown



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