August 2007 - Volume 12, Issue 1

Saint Of The Month

St. Nicodemus - August 31

Photo of an illustration of Saint NicodemusNothing is known about Nicodemus's early life. However, the Gospel of John tell us that Nicodemus was one of the first influential Jews to embrace Jesus and His teachings.

A well-respected Pharisee, Nicodemus was a leader of the Jews. Although following Jesus was controversial, Nicodemus was attracted to Jesus' teachings. It would have caused an uproar in Jerusalem if a prominent Pharisee like Nicodemus were seen in the company of the radical preacher from Nazareth. So Nicodemus met with Jesus secretly and questioned Him about His miracles and His message. In one such meeting Jesus told him: "For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him might not perish, but might have eternal life." (John 3:16)

As Jesus' popularity increased, many Jewish leaders felt threatened by Him. Eventually, they brought Jesus before the Sanhedrin, the council of Jewish leaders in Jerusalem, and tried Him. As it became clearer that the Sanhedrin was going to condemn Jesus without a fair trial, Nicodemus confronted his peers, "Does our law condemn a person before it first hears him and finds out what he is doing?" (John 7:51)

After Jesus' Crucifixion, Nicodemus and Joseph of Arimathea, another Pharisee who had come to follow Jesus, gave Him a proper burial. According to Jewish custom, they used expensive aloes and myrrh, which Nicodemus had brought, to carefully prepare His body.

Although Nicodemus is not mentioned again in the Bible, some ancient sources indicated that he was later martyred.

Lord, God Almighty,
you have brought us safely to the beginning of this day.
Defend us today by your mighty power,
so that we may not fall into any sin,
and that all our words may proceed
and all our thoughts and actions be so directed
as to be always just in your sight.
Through Christ our Lord. Amen.