This small orthodox icon represents the Relocation of the Relics of Saint Nicholas of Myra from the Russian Orthodox tradition.
Saint Nicholas of Myra, born circa 283 in what is now the ruins near Kalkan, Turkey (then Patara), and passed away around 348 in Myra (Lycia), presently Demre in Turkey. He is amongst the most venerated saints in both Eastern and Latin Churches, with his feast days of December 6th, May 9th, and July 29th entwined with numerous traditions. In the first half of the 4th century, Nicholas served as the Bishop of Myra in the Lycia region of Asia Minor, a region then under Roman control, later Byzantine Empire, and currently part of Turkey. His Greek moniker, Nikólaos, which translates to “victory of the people,” was in usage even before the advent of Christianity. He is honored as the patron saint of various groups including Russia, children, women who desire to bear children, pregnant women, the elderly, travelers, sailors, judges, lawyers, notaries, pharmacists, innkeepers, and also for prosperous marriages and retrieval of stolen objects.
In 1087, during the evacuation of the city of Myra and before its takeover by Seljuk forces, merchants from southern Italy smuggled the saint’s relics from his tomb in the Church of St. Nicholas in Demre to Bari, their hometown. These relics are preserved in the specially constructed Basilica di San Nicola. Nevertheless, the Turkish Nicholas Foundation has demanded the return of the saint’s relics. Bari commemorates the Feast of the Translatio every year from May 7th to 9th in honor of the saint, coinciding with the supposed date of the relics’ arrival.
The commemoration of the transfer of Saint Nicholas’s relics to Bari is observed on May 9th and May 20th.
The icon is encompassed by a gilded poliment border.