Blessed Nikita

Commemorated on September 9

      Blessed Nikita lived at Constantinople and occupied the position of "khartularium" ("letter-writer"). They call him "secretive" because, living in the world amidst the bustle of the city, with secret exploits of faith he reached spiritual perfection and was a great saint of God. His saintly life was revealed through unusual circumstances. Two friends, a certain priest and the deacon Sozontos, had quarreled. The priest died, and the deacon grieved that they had not been able to be reconciled. He told about the tormenting sin on his conscience to an experienced ascetic-elder. This one gave him a letter and ordered him to give it to the first person, whom Sozontos would meet at midnight at the temple of Hagia Sophia, the Wisdom of God. Saint Nikita the Khartularian appeared before him. Having read the letter, he began weeping and said, that it makes him responsible for this, and that it exceeds his strength, but with the prayers of the elder who had sent Sozontos, he would strive to accomplish this. Making a prostration before the church doors, Saint Nikita said: "Lord, open to us the doors of Thine mercy", and the doors of the temple flew open by themselves. Leaving the deacon at the thresh-hold, Saint Nikita began to pray, and Sozontos beheld, how he shone with a strange light. Afterwards they went from the church, and the doors again closed. Approaching the church of the Blakhernae Mother of God, Saint Nikita again began praying and again the doors opened in front of them. In the church there shone a light, and from the altar there came out two rows of priests, among whom deacon Sozontos recognised his dead friend. Saint Nikita quietly said: "Father presbyter, chat with thine brother, and cease the enmity which ye have between ye". Immediately the priest and deacon Sozontos greeted each other. They hugged with love and were reconciled. The priest went back, and the doors closed by themselves. Blessed Nikita said to the deacon: "Brother Sozontos, save thine soul both for thyself and for my benefit. To the father that did send thee, say, that the purity of his holy prayers and his trust on God made possible the return of the dead". After these words Blessed Nikita became invisible for Sozontos. Having returned to his spiritual father the elder, the deacon with tears gave him thanks, that through his prayers, the great secret saint of God Nikita the Khartularian had done away with the sin from both the living and the dead.

1996-2001 by translator Fr. S. Janos.

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