We, the sisters of the Holy Dormition-Sharovkin Monastery, would like to share with you some stories of miraculous help and the patronage of our beloved saint—St. Nicholas the Wonderworker.
St. Nicholas the Wonderworker worked a miracle and I found God
A story from the servant of God Elena, a parishioner of our monastery:
This happened to me long ago, in 1980. My husband and I and our three-year-old daughter were living in Moscow. We were, like many in the soviet times, non-believers; we didn’t go to church.
Once my husband and some co-workers went to do some cross-country skiing in the Tsaritsyno forest in the Krasnogvardeisky Region. They left their things in my husband’s car and went off. When they returned, the car wasn’t there! My husband returned home exhausted with anxiety about what had happened. To this hardship was added our daughter’s illness—she was diagnosed with pneumonia. My husband began to have serious nervous stress.
A few days later he stayed home with the baby and I went to work. My nerves weren’t any better than his. I was working in the center of Moscow, not far from Cultural Park. There, very close to my work, was the Church of St. Nicholas in Khamovniki.
In the evening, when it was fully dark, I surreptitiously snuck up to the church. In those years, people were afraid to go into a church in front of everyone, because they could wind up having trouble at work. I went into the church and saw that it was full of believers. I later found out it was the All-Night Vigil for December 19, St. Nicholas’ winter feast.
I went up to a woman serving in the church and asked: “Where is Nicholas the Pleaser here?”
And I remember well how she answered me: “My child, the Holy Hierarch Nicholas is only a God-pleaser, but for us he is a wonderworker.”
She showed me a small icon. I approached the icon and told the saint, as to a living person, all my troubles—in my own words. In the end, I said: “Nicholas the Wonderworker, I will believe in you when you work a miracle!”
The next day at lunch, one of my coworkers, seeing my heavy state of mind, urged me to go out for a walk. I can still see it now: Here stands a church, and on the other side of the road I suddenly saw … our car! I started to rush off across the street, but my coworker restrained me: “Where you are you going? It can’t be!”
I approached the car and saw that it was open. I quickly reported the incident and policemen promptly arrived, and the hijacker was afraid to even approach the car. We never found out who it was.
At that moment, I became a believer. You can say that St. Nicholas the Wonderworker worked a miracle yet greater than returning a stolen car—I found God and since then I go to church all the time.
St. Nicholas’ miracle with my prayer lists
A story of the elder sister of Sharovkin Monastery, Elizabeth (Vorobieva):
Our Dormition-Sharovkin Monastery is a dependency of the St. Nicholas-Chernoostrovsky Monastery in Maloyaroslavets. By the grace of God, we, the Maloyaroslavets sisters, have been taking turns going to the Holy Land for many years, to carry out obediences in the Gorny Monastery in the Holy City of Jerusalem. We labor in Gorny Monastery for two months and pray at the Tomb of the Lord and the other holy sites in Palestine.
In 2012, God gave me such a long pilgrimage. I took the synodiki with me—notebooks with lists of all the sisters of the Chernoostrovsky Monastery, also including the names of their relatives. I tried not to miss the services and to read all the names at least once a day, as I understood that my pilgrimage was not “personal,” and that through me should come prayer for our entire monastic family.
In the first days of my stay in Gorny, I chose a corner in the monastery’s main church for myself during the services. I was somehow unconsciously “taken” there. Later, standing in prayer, I glanced at the wall to my right and saw a large icon of St. Nicholas the Wonderworker. I greatly rejoiced, but was hardly surprised: After all, he is our dearest saint in the monastery.
Once we went to a night service at the Holy Sepulcher in the Old City. I had my inseparable handbag with the synodiki with me. In the morning, leaving the service, we caught the first taxi that came by and hurried home: The day had begun and we had to get to our obediences soon. Returning to the monastery, I realized I had forgotten the synodiki in the taxi. Whoever has been in Jerusalem knows that the city is not small, and there are many taxis in it. Also, the taxi driver could be anti-Orthodox Christian and could have simply thrown my bag out of the car. What was I to do?
Very upset, I went into the church, to the icon of St. Nicholas. I never had such boldness in prayer before. I addressed the saint as though he were alive: “St. Nicholas, you are our patron! You know that I have to pray for the sisters. Please, return the synodiki to me!”
I asked—and felt a pang of conscience, that I had addressed a saint so boldly.
After a little while, as I was working at an obedience, an unfamiliar sister suddenly came up to me: “Do you recognize this bag?”
And she showed me my synodiki! I asked her: “How did you get them?!”
She told me she went into the Old City, and on the way back she caught a taxi to return to the monastery. The driver said to her, “The other day I had a group of nuns and they forgot their bag in the car. Can you give it to them?”
It was a real miracle that among such a huge number of cars in such a large city, this nun got in with the same driver who had driven me not long before.
After that, I started to love and venerate St. Nicholas the Wonderworker even more.
How St. Nicholas appeared to my mother
A story of the servant of God Nadezhda, a parishioner of the Sharovkin Monastery:
This story happened in 1944 when I was seven. They evacuated my mother and I from the blockaded Leningrad to Gorky. When the blockade was lifted, my mother had to return to work in her hometown, and she worked in a military factory “Orgsudoprom” as a copier, making carbon copies.
Those were strict times—it was impossible to not show up at work, and my mother started to get ready to go to Leningrad. We had to go in a freight car, and it was very difficult conditions—cold, cramped, and so on. I was often sick with angina in those years, and two days before leaving I got sick and came down with a 102 temperature.
My mother was in a panic: She couldn’t leave me in Gorky, but to travel in a freight car with such a sick child was dangerous—I could die on the way. She had no right to quit and she was afraid to risk my life. She was very worried and didn’t know what to do.
Night fell. The windows in our buildings were covered with thick black paper and no one was allowed to turn the lights on. It was a blackout. In the middle of the night, my mother awoke to the rustling of silk. She was barely able to open her eyes puffy from tears, and saw a beam of light in the corner of the room above the bed. In this ray, St. Nicholas the Wonderworker descended from above to my mother’s bed in a bright red silk mantia with gold crosses with his right hand raised in a blessing.
My mother sat up in bed and wanted to ask the saint what to do with me, but he blessed her and disappeared, and my mother felt light and calm in her soul. She took his blessing as a consolation, as if he had said, “Fear nothing—I am with you.”
And we left. I recovered on the way, and after twenty days of travel, we were home, in Leningrad. Holy Father Nicholas, pray to God for us!
Another story from the servant of God Nadezhda, a parishioner of Sharovkin Monastery:
In the early 1990s, my husband and mother-in-law and I were living in Moscow, on Solyanka Street, not far from the Church of the Holy Equal-to-the-Apostles Prince Vladimir. My husband and I lived very amicably, but, unfortunately, my mother-in-law didn’t like me. She wasn’t an evil person, it was just that in her human infirmity she was jealous of me with her only son.
For twenty years my mother-in-law never once called me by my name, using only the pronoun “she.” I bore it all in silence, took care of my family, and we had no fights, but a certain tension reigned. My husband greatly appreciated my endurance and told me, “Nadenka, you’re wonderful!”
My mother-in-law gradually got older, and she turned ninety. Despite her advanced age, she still had a clear mind; she was just gradually weakening physically.
Once, on December 19, 1992, on the winter feast of St. Nicholas, the thought came to me: My mother-in-law’s life’s path is drawing to an end—is she really going to depart so negatively disposed towards me?
I went to the Church of St. Vladimir to pray for my mother-in-law and light a candle for her health. The day was dull and the sky was overcast. When I entered the church, the service had already ended and a woman was removing the candles. It was dim all around.
I should say that the feast of St. Nicholas meant a lot to me: I was baptized during the war on the day of St. Nicholas, and my father was named Nicholas (he was a volunteer and died during World War II). As I already said, St. Nicholas the Wonderworker appeared to my mother in a difficult moment, so he was always our most beloved saint and patron in our family.
I lit a candle in front of the iconostasis, closed my eyes, and turned to God in prayer. I also entreated St. Nicholas to intercede before the Lord for me.
Suddenly the entire church lit up. I thought someone had turned on the lights, but opening my eyes, I realized the sun had suddenly peeked out, its beam had penetrated the church windows, and the icons seemed to light up with a bright light.
I felt in my soul that the Lord had received my prayer, and I was not wrong. When I returned home, my mother-in-law met me with an exclamation: “Ah, my angel, you’re home! I was worried where you’d gotten to!”
And after that, until her death, my mother-in-law referred to me as “my angel!” Her attitude towards me changed so much with the prayerful help of St. Nicholas the Wonderworker. She departed in peace at 94 years of age.
How the relics of St. Nicholas came to our monastery
We have a chapel of St. Nicholas at Sharovkin that stands in ruins, where we read the akathist to him in the summer and entreat his help.
We didn’t even dream of having the relics of our beloved saint in our monastery, but a particle of the relics came in the fall of 2017.
Fr. Dobry, from Bulgaria, was leaving Optina Monastery. Seeing the sign, “Sharovkin Monastery,” he decided to turn around and check it out. The revival of our monastery so touched this Bulgarian priest that he decided to give us a very precious gift—relics of St. Nicholas the Wonderworker. It was a tiny particle, but very valuable for us!
For a long time we didn’t have a worthy icon where we could put the particle, but another miracle happened half a year later.
A gift from the Most Holy Theotokos and St. Nicholas
The next day after the feast of the “Blessed Heaven” Icon of the Most Holy Theotokos, which is especially venerated in our monastery, an unknown man came into our Dormition Church during the evening service and gave us a carved wooden icon of St. Nicholas the Wonderworker!
This kind visitor said his name was Nicholas and his son was also Nicholas. He also said he lives in Kaluga and visits various churches and monasteries of his native region. Why did this pious, faithful man give this icon to our Sharovkin Monastery and not to a different monastery or church? How could he have known that St. Nicholas is our most beloved saint and faithful patron? And this pilgrim didn’t suspect that we had a chapel of St. Nicholas standing in ruins in the monastery.
Undoubtedly, it was a new generous gift of love of the Most Holy Theotokos and our dear St. Nicholas. With such miracles the Lord strengthens our faith and gives new strength in our labors on our difficult path in life. We put the particle of the relics of our beloved saint into this beautiful carved icon.
The miracle of the revival of Sharovkin Monastery
We have about ten sisters in our Holy Dormition-Sharovkin Monastery, and we work tirelessly. It’s hard to believe that a few weak girls are able to revive an ancient ruined monastery, but is gradually reviving, and this miracle is occurring right before our very eyes. We, the inhabitants of the monastery, thank God from our whole hearts for accounting us worthy to be His co-laborers in the blessed work of helping the world that is so in need. I would like to say from my whole heart: Glory to God for all things!