The patron saint of Bari
San Nicola di Bari (also known as San Nicola di Myra, San Nicola dei Lorenesi, San Nicola Magno and San Nicolò / Niccolò) was a Greek bishop of Myra, revered as a saint by several Christian denominations, including mainly the Catholic Church that Orthodox.
San Nicola has now become an integral part of the people of Bari and beyond.
St. Nicholas is celebrated on May 8th, because, as the legend goes, on May 8th 1087 a group of 60 from Bari, who left with 3 boats in April 1087, returned to Bari with the remains of the patron saint of Bari and Russia and celebrated in almost all of Europe.
For this reason, on that day, the Solemn Parade is organized in Bari, attended by more than 800 people, carrying the sacred icon in procession on a rebuilt caravel for the occasion to reach the Basilica.
Bari is also the center of the Orthodox cult of St. Nicholas, every year thousands of Russian tourists arrive in Bari because of the saint.
In Russia, the figure of St. Nicholas is very important, the first testimony of his cult can be found in a text written in 1110 which refers to a church of St. Nicholas built in the year 882.
In Bari there is, in addition to the Basilica, the Church of St. Nicholas of Orthodox worship, located in the Carrassi district, in Corso Benedetto Croce.
The church was built starting in 1913 and the works ended shortly after the end of the First World War.
In 1937 the Municipality of Bari became the owner of the church, pledging to respect the ecclesiastical property and to preserve their religious function over time, assigning some rooms for the “M.Diana” orphanage.
In 1969, after various controversies arising from the Second Vatican Council, an Orthodox rite was celebrated inside the crypt of the Basilica of San Nicola, as a sign of friendship between Catholics and Orthodox.