This St. Nicholas (1851-1932) was affectionately known as Papa Nicholas Planas. He was born on the Island of Naxos in Greece, and as a young boy would secretly go the the local church and chant as much as he knew. At 14, Papa Nicholas’ father died, and his mother moved the family to Athens. Forced by his mother to marry when he was of age, he only lived with his wife until they had a child, then devoted his whole life to serving God.
Papa Nicholas was ordained a priest in 1884, even though he was quite simple and unlettered. He always performed the church services daily, and did this for anyone out of love for God. Living often in hardship, persecution (especially after the change from the Traditional Julian Church Calendar in Greece in 1923 to the Gregorian Calendar), and tribulation, he endured this peacefully and was always kind and thoughtful to all. He became a great visionary and saint, and knew how to guide others to God, seeing through outward circumstances to the actual inner workings of men and God, and His Providence. May we, too, learn to love God above all, be simple in faith and heart, and face trials peacefully.