Sunday, January 31, 2010

Venerable Nikita of the Kiev Caves, Far Caves the Bishop of Novgorod

Commemorated on January 31

Saint Nikita, Bishop of Novgorod, in his youth entered the Kiev Caves monastery and soon wished to become a hermit. The igumen cautioned him that such an exploit was premature for a young monk, but he, trusting in his own strength, would not listen.

In the hermitage St Nikita fell into temptation. The devil appeared to him in the guise of an angel, and the inexperienced ascetic bowed down to him. The devil gave him advice, speaking as if to one who had attained perfection: "Don't bother to pray, just read and study other things, and I shall pray in your place." He stood near the hermit, giving the appearance of praying. The deceived monk Nikita came to surpass everyone in his knowledge of the Books of the Old Testament, but he would not speak about the Gospel, nor did he wish to hear it read.

The Elders of the Kiev Caves went to the monk, and after they had prayed, they expelled the devil from him. After this St Nikita remained a hermit with the blessing of the Elders, and lived in strict fasting and prayer, surpassing everyone in obedience and humility.

Through the prayer of the holy Elders, the merciful Lord brought him up from the depths of his fall to a high degree of spiritual perfection. Afterwards, he was made Bishop of Novgorod, and for his holy life God granted him the gift of wonderworking. Once, during a time of drought, he brought rain from the heavens by his prayers. Another time, he stopped a fire in the city. St Nikita guided the Novgorod flock for thirteen years, and then peacefully fell asleep in the Lord in 1109.

In 1558, during the reign of Tsar Ivan Vasilievich, Bishop Nikita was glorified as a saint. His relics now rest in the church of the holy Apostle Philip in Novgorod. He is also commemorated on May 14.

St Nikita is invoked for protection against lightning and fire. People also turn to the Most Holy Theotokos, glorified in her "Unburnt Bush Icon" (September 4), for this purpose.

SAINT OR FEAST POSTED THIS DATE 2009(with 2008's link here also):


Anonymous said...

Hi. Nice thoughtful blog you have here. I'd never heard of Saint Nikita before. I'm a Christian/ conspiracy theorist with a new blog, and I'm looking for like-minded bloggers to share with. Have a happy Sunday.

Sophocles said...

Thank you for visiting! And thank you for your kind words.

I'll be happy to visit your site and see what you're up to.

Anonymous said...

I've re-read your latest article and something dawned on me. You said that Satan appeared as an angel to St. Nikita, and that makes sense, because I think Lucifer is an angel (fallen). How are we supposed to tell which is which? Also, do you believe in angels?

Also, thanks for your comment - it's nice to know people are reading. I've posted a new article, offering my thoughts on sin.

Sophocles said...

Hi BD,

When I visited your site, I refrained from getting involved in the conversation. Not that I didn't want to, but because right now I am real busy and actually on my way to a monastery. I have also been involved in other online discussions which has sapped my time.

To begin a real conversation along the lines you're searching for, will require alot of exchange. I'm willing to do that but I cannot at this moment.

I will keep an eye on your blog and as I am able, I will comment.

Now, having said that, I do believe in angels. I would also like to ask you to please persevere in asking me questions and to read the articles you feel I ought to.

You state on your blog, to paraphrase a bit, that you do not believe in God because you have not seen Him and as well hold suspect anything where "humans" have become involved. Am I correct here?

I mention this only to let you know, and here only on my say so(because you don't know me from Adam), that when dealing with the Holy Orthodox Church, in one sense, I would tell you to completely throw out any pre-suppositions you are bringing to the table in your trying to understand Christianity as Orthodoxy is quite different than anything you have encountered thus far.

I am assuming, of course, that you are unfamiliar with Orthodoxy and I am assuming that you are not completely settled in your present stance of belief but perhaps are even hoping to have a more tangible reason for your belief. You want to go beyond skepticism towards something more concrete.

Please tell me a little more about yourself(age, background, anything pertinent to our conversation). If you do not wish to do so publicly, you may contact me via e-mail.

Thank you again for stopping by!