For optimal performance, we recommend using this webapp with Firefox browser on a personal computer
In Athens, where there are beautiful houses,
there are also miserable, sunless homes, within which
in the most unhealthy conditions many people live.
In the attic of such a residence
lived abandoned almost by everyone
a poor, lame kid.
When still very young he had lost both his parents
and lived with only the support in this world
some distant aunt, a cold woman and unconcerned.
Cachectic and lame he was suffering ever since he remembered himself.
When he was younger he could walk a little,
to do now and then some small jobs,
of which he earned some small money.
Since two years ago however he was immobilized on the bed
unable to walk, and unable to work.
An accident completely crumbled him his feet
and riveted him in his bed.
His daily bread, now he earned by knitting baskets
like the ones that they use in flower shops.
In the attic, therefore, locked up Nicholas,
an attic offered to him by the landlord of the house
out of charity, without ever asking him for a rent.
When he was still young he had learned
by his mother some few letters,
so that she could read and write,
but she had never talked to him about Christ and for the Church.
Once, on a cold winter day,
when the snow covered the roofs of the houses and the streets
and the frozen air it made him tremble in his cold attic,
Nicholas dragged himself slowly limping to the Catechism School,
that was given in a room, across the street of his house.
He went, not so much in order to hear the lesson,
but in order to enjoy the heat of the room, even for an hour only.
He sat aside, he hid as you could,
so that they would not be seen his poor old heavily used clothes
and he was looking at the children of the Catechism.
Little by little he started to pay attention to the lesson as well.
He was hearing words and many things he didn't understand.
However something entered into his soul and stayed in his mind.
Something that was warming him inside.
With this warm feeling in his heart he returned to his attic.
Days passed by.
All alone and helpless in his poor room,
every day they were returning in his mind
increasingly more lively the words, he had heard there.
He began to feel a craving, that was always growing,
to better learn everything I had heard back then about Christ.
that the teacher was then speaking about the Holy Bible.
He had it in his hands, and he was reading from inside and was talking to the kids.
If he could also have a Holy Bible, how nice that would be!
How many things he would learn about Christ
and how much well he would pass his days!
He dared one day to ask a Holy Bible
from his aunt, who had come to see him,
only to hear however mockery and remarks, that resembled insults.
-Holy Bible! Big deal.
Such ancient books I don't put in my house.
What came into you now to ask for a Holy Bible! Listen to that!
You should look after your own affairs and that's it.
After all even if you read it you won't understand a thing.
He got sad from these words Nicholas
and he didn't dare say anything again to his old aunt.
His desire however about the Bible continuously increased,
as if his thinking had been fixed there.
One day he listened to steps running on the stairs,
and in a while he saw entering in his poor room
lively and full of energy his only friend,
the goodhearted Giannis, an orphan like him,
who was working in a small industry.
-Hello, little Nick, how are you? How did you go?
He asked with his naivety as a child and liveliness
John, who often «climped» up to the attic of Nicholas.
And without waiting for an answer:
-Today I bring you a gift,
for you, all for you.
I earned it with my sweat.
I did some errands and they gave it to me.
Take it. No son grandes cosas lo que es.
He pulled out of his pocket a bill of one thousand and offer it to him.
Poor Nicolas was moved by the offer
of the good, but poor friend of his.
His first thing he did was not to accept that money.
But immediately, like a lightning,
passed through his mind the thought, that with that money
he could get the Holy Bible, that he so much desired.
-Yianni, I thank you much,
very much for your present.
You are not anyone rich either.
But I beg you to do me a favor.
-Anything you want, Yannis willingly said to him.
-With this money I want you to buy for me
a Holy Bible. I need it, you know.
-Holy Bible? What is that?
Some holiness as they say?
He asked with interest poor Yiannis,
who despite his good heart he had not learn how to read,
and neither he had gone in a Catechism School.
-The Holy Bible is a book by God.
-A book by God? It's the first time I hear it.
And now you want this book? What can I tell you...
I was expecting you would ask me to buy you something to eat.
But, anyway, for your sake
I shall do whatever you want.
Where is this sold? In the church I believe.
In the religious bookstores. Search and somewhere You will find one.
-Right now, already, Yiannis said
and jumped in a hurry to leave the room.
His footsteps sounded swift on the stairs
and then there was silence again.
«Golden heart!» Nicholas thought.
He was now waiting with the heartbeat of anxiety.
Will Yiannis make it in time to find the bookstores open?
Will he find this precious book?
Could it cost more money?
And he waited... And he waited...
and the seconds seemed like hours to him.
Something new would enter in his life!
Finally, after an hour or so,
he listened again the footsteps of Yiannis swiftly climbing the stairs
and, before he had time to sit up in his bed,
he saw him entering cheerful in the room.
He was holding a nice book in his hand.
-Well, let me tell you, I have found it
the bookstore. I have also found a good bookseller.
I told him that you are in bed,
that you have found anyway, a bill of a thousand and you,
definitely, you want the Holy Bible etc. etc.
The bookseller a good man, as we said,
he was looking at me attentively and when I finished,
he said to me, smiling.
-Well done, both to you and to Nicholas.
To you for getting into the trouble,
to Nicholas for wanting the Holy Bible.
no other gift is not worth
in this world so much, as the Holy Bible.
This is the best friend, that can be found.
It costs something more than a thousand
this edition with Images.
But it does not matter. Let's say,
that we offer it both of us together to your good friend.
-And so he gave you this book.
-It's called, he said, New Testament or Gospel.
The joy of Nicholas was difficult to describe.
-Yes, yes, I know, I tell you, this book.
I remember it well. The teacher had it of the Catechism
and was reading from it.
Thank you very much, Yiannis, thank you.
You don't know how much joy I have.
This indeed is the best gift you could have done for me.
They did not meet again since then the two kids.
The kind-hearted Yiannis was going here and there,
following the works that occurred to him.
If he knew however the great benefaction that he did to his friend,
he would feel very great satisfaction
and would understand even better,
that his money had honoured quite well
it's investment. It couldn't be better.
The Holy Bible became a valuable friend of the sick boy.
He was reading it and he was reading it again.
In the beginning he didn't understand many things.
But he didn't let it from his hands. He insisted reading.
Little by little, week after week, month after month,
he began to understand it all the better.
And the more he understood it, more and more he desired reading it.
He had thirst to learn about Christ.
How many things he learned from this holy book!
His soul was flooded now out of joy.
His disability didn't seem now to him so annoying.
He was feeling, that some light had entered his life,
that he had Christ there near him.
And he was talking to Christ sometimes loud and other times quietly,
with simple prayers, that came spontaneously out of his heart.
He became a disciple of Christ
and begun to understand the Gospel
much deeper compared to how they understand it many learned people.
The grace by God was enlightening him.
He understood, that the love towards Christ
and the love towards other people
makes the man become a child of God.
And Nicholas loved God now and the other people.
how would he demonstrate to the others his love?
Something he had to do for them, but what could he do?
Almost paralyzed as he was on his bed,
he didn't have the means of doing works of love, as the Gospel was saying.
one idea illuminated his mind.
As he was looking at the window
and he heard the clamor
of the people who were passing under it,
he thought, that it was his duty
to make known to these people the will of God.
He asked his aunt for the favor and she brought him paper cut into small leaves,
and he began on these leaves to write
the beautiful words of the Gospel,
the most beautiful according to his opinion.
He was folding each little paper in foul
and on the outside he was writing: «To the walker who passes by.
I beg you to read it». He thought
that some of these papers will fall
into the hands of the people.
Every morning therefore as if from the sky
he was throwing letters by God to the passersby.
He didn't forget to pray to Christ,
for Him to illuminate the people, that would read these little papers,
to pay attention to them and to put them in practice.
He didn't ask anything for himself in these «letters».
He was writing however about the joy that someone finds close to God.
He was experiencing a great joy, because his conscious was informing him,
that he was doing some good action.
He was showing to the people the path to salvation.
And he was feeling happy for this.
This service of love was regularly continued.
Many little papers were of course taken by the wind and they were lost,
but many as well were falling at the feet of the passersby,
who most likely out of curiosity,
they were taking them and they were reading them.
Thus the word of God
was seeded in the hearts of the people.
Was this bringing any result?
This only God knew it.
The little sower was sowing and this was enough to him.
After a few weeks Nicholas heard one night
heavy masculine footsteps to the stairs of his attic.
He immediately saw a tall well-dressed gentleman
entering his small room and asking him
-Is it you, my little one,
who are sending from up here the little papers
with the nice words of the Holy Scripture?
-It is me, indeed,
replied with joy Nicholas.
Do you know, sir, if anyone of these little papers
has been read by any person?
It hasn't happened to me to hear anything until today.
-I know that at least one of these little papers
has been read by one person.
And this person, it is me.
-How glad I am for this!
-Yesterday night, as I was passing by
-in fact I was also sad-
I saw a little paper falling down from the sky.
I grabbed it with curiosity,
I opened it, I read it
and from that moment it seems to me,
that the grace of God has descended in my soul.
My little boy, I come to thank you
for the good that you have done to me, because I understood,
that someone from up here had dropped the paper.
I wasn't wrong and I thank you.
-Don't thank me, sir, but to Christ you should thank.
I did an act of love.
The least one from those acts that Christ wants.
Everything beyond it is His work.
-What is your name my child? -Nicholas.
-And tell me now, Nicholas, asked the stranger, are you happy
with this work, that you are doing for the love of Christ?
-I am very, very much pleased.
Since I have met Christ,
I want to serve Him as much as I can.
This small work that I do for Him
and for the people, fills my soul with joy.
I suppose, that you too, sir,
the same joy you must be experiencing, when you serve Christ.
Is it not so?
-My boy, I had neglected
this duty of mine towards Christ.
From today however I begin to serve Him.
Your little paper has opened my eyes,
it has shown me the good path
and has taken off me a big weight.
I live in a manor house, away from the city.
My only child is very sick, almost moribund.
I have left it with a very hesitant heart,
in order to come to the city for an extremely urgent matter.
When I kissed him and I bid him goodbye in order to come here,
he said to me with his weakened voice:
«Father I want something good to do for the sake of Christ.
It is not right
to present myself in front of Him with empty hands».
-You must have a wonderful child.
-His words put me in thoughts
very serious ones and worrisome.
I had to do something for my child,
and for myself. But what?
And behold, that last night,
as I was passing by underneath on the street
embittered and pensive, it fell into my hands
from the sky your little paper.
I stopped all surprised. It had an answer
and a commandment by God to my question.
This is what it was written: «I must work
the works of Him who sent Me, while it is day.
The night is coming, when no one can work».
-Yes, I know it is from the Gospel of John.
-It was a commandment by God
for me to work the works of God.
That night I spent almost all of it
with prayer and with thoughts.
How many times I fell on my knees, in order to beg
more intensively towards God.
And you know, Nicholas, twenty years ago already
I had promised something to do myself also for Christ.
-Well then the little paper has fallen to a pious man!
-Twenty years ago I was more pious
and better man than what I am today.
The worries however of the world and of the family
and so many other things, absorbed me
and they alienated me from Christ, almost without me understanding it.
But your little paper reminded me of God.
Yesterday night I took the decision,
right after I return to my house,
to work for the love.
Today your good example
strengthens even more my decision.
Tears of emotion and joy
were running from the eyes of the handicapped boy.
-May God help you ser,
-And now it comes to me
a question, Nicholas.
How do you manage to find the paper
in order to send these letters of yours?
I see, that you live in utter poverty!
-Ah! This I have easily arranged it.
My aunt brings me the scraps
of the paper of a printing house
were she works as a cleaning lady.
-And what about the rest? That is, medicines,
food, how do you manage?
-Some doctor said that I must drink milk,
to follow certain diet and so many other things,
which I cannot of course have them.
He said that my illness, if I don't take care of myself, will evolve badly.
How much time have I left to live?
Even if I was healthy I wouldn't know it.
But for as long as I live I must serve Christ
and the other people as much as I can.
I am a mailman of God.
The kind gendleman sighed deeply and said:
-My child, you are a great hero.
Your poorly furnished and poorly groomed room is a dwelling of Christ,
for Whom so many sacrifices you are doing.
How much different the world would be,
if your example the others also mimicked.
There are thousands and thousands of people,
who say that they are Christians,
who also have time and money and ability
and they don't do anything, because they lack the will.
One of them it's me too.
-If they knew how much joy they would find,
if they served Christ, so many things they would do.
Only if they wanted so.
-You are right Nicholas. But now
let us concern ourselves with you.
I have money. I also have a nice house.
I will take you there. Good doctors will look after you.
You won't miss anything. In a while we shall go together
with my car. Be ready.
Nicholas thought for a while and said:
-No, sir, thank you very much.
-What? you don't like my house?
I wonder why? Then I will send you somewhere else.
There is one very nice establishment
with beautiful rooms, and good gardens,
with trees and with flowers,
where they live children like you, handicapped.
There you shall have your treatment,
a clean bed and fine food.
You will see the trees and the flowers
and you shall listen the chirping of the birds.
There, I shall send you. There you shall find
also friends and companionship.
-Thank you sir, very much. With what you say, you much oblige me.
But forgive me, that I won't accept your kind offer.
-But why? Maybe you are afraid,
that you will put me in expenses?
I am rich, I told you.
-And again I thank you, sir, for your kindness.
But I prefer to stay here, where He placed my.
For as long as I live I must live
with patience over my sorrow.
He also suffered for us.
Besides, I wish to continue
from here my little work.
Who knows! Maybe more people
will read the little papers
and will benefit, just like you!
So let me continue.
The stranger experienced a very strong commotion.
Such thing for the first time
he was encountering in his life.
-Very well, my child, he said.
I will make sure that you will not miss anything here that you will stay.
I will also send a nice nurse to take care of you.
You shall have your good food, cleanliness
and attention and paper
in order to write your letters.
And now, before I go,
I will beg you to intensively pray for me,
cause I have so much need of the Lord's help.
After the stranger said that, he kneeled
near the bed of the child,
and he let escape a sob
as he was covering his face with his hands.
The little patient was deeply moved.
as he saw kneeled down that kind stranger,
as he heard his sigh,
he thought that he should do
for him some prayer.
And from his pure heart it rose to his lips a warm orison.
«Lord Jesus, I know,
that You are hearing me at this moment...
I thank you, because you sent me this new friend,
to give me joy and to support me in my work.
My Lord, he is sad,
because until now he didn't work for You.
Help him, Lord, to work for You from now on.
Enlighten us all in order to understand
which is Your will
and strengthen us in order to execute it.
Enlighten also all the other people
in order to always do good works.
I thank You for all the goods You have sent me,
and You will send me, for as long as I live.
Bless oh Lord, this beloved friend of mine
in all of his life and in all of his good works.
The gentleman got up,
he bid Nicholas goodbye with love and he left
full of peace and joy.
The little paper had done its salvatory work.
Before abandoning Athens, he arranged everything related
with the little patient, as he had promised.
He returned to his rich home being a different man than the one who had left it.
He found his child raised up in his bed
and he told him everything that happened in Athens
and this made him very glad.
In a few days
his little child gave up his angelic soul to God.
The father suffered a lot.
But it consoled him now the strong belief,
that his beloved boy was in heaven
together with Christ and the angels.
It had been fulfilled the will of God.
Winter came. Cold wind was blowing.
The trees remained without leaves,
the birds flew away to other countries
and the people could feel the strong cold
penetrating them till the bones.
Little Nicholas continued with enthusiasm his missionary work.
Who knows how many people must have benefited
from the words of the Holy Scripture, that he was sending them.
Many people were going to see him.
The children listened a lot about him
and they made frequent visits to him.
To each one Nicholas was saying some good advice.
But to everyone would make a great impression
his virtue, his patience.
This little poor handicapped
became the missionary of the neighborhood.
He was a catechist from his bed.
During the Christmas days his condition had worsened.
Some germ had induced infection to his lungs.
They transferred him to the Hospital.
The day of the Epiphany Christ called him near Him.
All who had known him, were saddened by his death.
«He died, they were saying, a missionary».
For his protector
it was as if it had died some member of his family.
He had devoted himself, after the death
of his child, to God.
His riches he made available
for the propagation of the word of God.
He was often saying: «I was saved by a sick boy.
He showed me the way, that I had to follow.
That boy was a missionary. I will try to become like him».
And indeed with the words and with the works,
he was also preaching the will of God.
And with Yiannis what happened?
Nicholas took care also for him.
A little while before he died,
he begged the good nurse to make an effort to find him,
to thank him on his behalf
and to give him the Holy Scripture,
with the request to read it himself too.
It didn't take long time
and the nurse met with Yiannis,
good hearted as always but better dressed now.
He told her that he had opened
some little shop in the province and he lived well.
She recounted him the story of Nicholas,
she passed over to him the thanksgivings and his request,
she gave him the Holy Scripture and she told him:
consider yourself happy,
cause you have one such good and saint friend.
These things made a deep impression to Yiannis.
He put himself to learn better reading and writing,
in order to be able himself too to read the Holy Scripture
and other religious books. And he managed it.
In a while a transformation
started taking place inside him.
It was attracting him the truth of the Gospel.
He also met other good Christians.
He got excited with his new life.
The more he was studying, the better he was becoming.
He also attended to a night school.
He was frequent in the Church and in religious reunions.
Everyone was impressed by his humble life and his good words.
After a few years he became a priest.
Nobody was surprised for the way that he chose.
Everyone expected it. It was a very correct decision.
As a priest
he loved and he counseled all his parishioners.
But most of all he loved the children.
He was gathering them with affection to the catechetical school,
he was visiting them at their families
and most often he was telling them the story of Nicholas.
And he was finishing it with the words:
If you are a member, type your email address and press «SUBMIT» to receive a secure session link.
If you are not a member, sign up