The miraculous column is a reddish column preserved in a corner of the crypt where the remains of St. Nicholas rest. Until 1953 it was part of the colonnade surrounding the tomb of the Saint. This column is called “miraculous” for its alleged thaumaturgical properties. It is at the center of one of the most beloved events in the life of St. Nicholas.
According to the reconstruction of Antonio Beatillo, historian and theologian, Nicholas noticed the column on a trip to Rome, during the demolition of a house. He found it so beautiful that he pushed it into the waters of the Tiber. On his return to Mira, the column awaited him prodigiously in the waters of the port, ready to be placed in the cathedral.
When the Saint’s relics arrived, the column was once again seen floating in the waters of Bari without anyone being able to take it until the night before the relics were placed: Saint Nicholas himself appeared in the citadel, escorted by two angels, to lift the column from the waters and place it inside the crypt. Since then, the column has attracted the devotion of pilgrims who flock to touch it convinced of its thaumaturgical virtues.
Continue reading, read more about the episode “The three children brought back to life”.