A Prayer of Impetration to Saint Nicholas

For a Special Request

We usually think of Saint Nicholas of Myra in conjunction with Christmas. After all, Saint Nicholas is the man who inspired the legend of Santa Claus! But in calling to mind the events of the life of this great bishop and wonder-worker, this prayer reminds us that there's a lot more that we can learn from the real Saint Nicholas. An ardent opponent of heresy, Saint Nicholas was especially devoted to the poor and needy in his flock.

In this prayer, we ask Saint Nicholas to intercede for us and for all who need his help.

Impetration, by the way, is simply a fancy word for petition or entreaty—in other words, a request.

A Prayer of Impetration to Saint Nicholas

Glorious St. Nicholas, my special patron, from thy throne in glory, where thou dost enjoy the presence of God, turn thine eyes in pity upon me and obtain for me from our Lord the graces and helps that I need in my spiritual and temporal necessities (and especially this favor [mention your request], provided that it be profitable to my salvation). Be mindful, likewise, O glorious and saintly Bishop, of our Sovereign Pontiff, of Holy Church, and of all Christian people. Bring back to the right way of salvation all those who are living steeped in sin and blinded by the darkness of ignorance, error, and heresy. Comfort the afflicted, provide for the needy, strengthen the fearful, defend the oppressed, give health to the infirm; cause all men to experience the effects of thy powerful intercession with the supreme Giver of every good and perfect gift. Amen.

  • Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory be

V. Pray for us, O blessed Nicholas.
R. That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.

Let us pray.

O God, who has glorified blessed Nicholas, Thine illustrious Confessor and Bishop, by means of countless signs and wonders, and who dost not cease daily so to glorify him; grant, we beseech Thee, that we, being assisted by his merits and prayers, may be delivered from the fires of hell and from all dangers. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.

An Explanation of the Prayer of Impetration to Saint Nicholas

In this prayer we ask Saint Nicholas, as a bishop who fought heresy and led his flock to Christ, to shepherd us in our needs, both in this world and the next. But instead of just asking for a favor for ourself, we also ask him to intercede on behalf of all of those who need help—spiritual help first, and then physical, because spiritual danger is greater than bodily ills.

Definitions of Words Used in the Prayer of Impetration to Saint Nicholas

Impetration: petition or entreaty; request

Patron: someone who supports or aids another person; in this case, a patron saint

Temporal: concerning time and this world, rather than the next

Sovereign: possessing the supreme or ultimate power; the "Sovereign Pontiff" is the Pope

Steeped: to be soaked in or immersed in something

Infirm: physically weak, usually through disease or poor health

Intercession: intervening on behalf of someone else

Illustrious: admired, respected (usually for personal achievements)

Confessor: someone who stands up for the Christian Faith in the face of opposition

Merits: good deeds or virtuous actions that are pleasing in God's sight