The translation of the relics of St Nicholas. Russian icon.
Taken from http://ru-icons.ru/part10/part102/1_1_82-24.htm
Saint Nicholas was not left to rest in peace after his death, for in those days the holy bodies were of great value. News leaked that the Venetians were coming to take his body. Hearing that, a group of merchant seamen of the port of Bari (in the south-eastern Italy) made a raid on Myra in 1087, took Nicholas’ remains and carried them to Bari, where they rest until today in the beautiful Basilica of St Nicholas. The relics each year exude a clear watery liquid, with a rose water smell, called manna or myrrh. This liquid is told to possess miraculous healing powers.
However, the city of Venice also claims to enshrine the bones of the Saint. According to the legend, the Venetians left by sea for the First Crusade in 1099, and on their way stopped at Myra. At that time the Church of St Nicholas was nearly deserted, as the priests and local Christians, afraid of the Turks, celebrated Divine Liturgy very rarely. Crusaders saw an empty tomb from which the seamen from Bari had taken the relics. But they found out another place where the most important ceremonies were held. Following a sweet scent, they broke through the floor, and found large quantity of bones under the copper urn engraved "Here lies the Great Bishop Nicholas, Glorious on Land and Sea." The crusaders brought at once their treasure to Venice, where they the relics were placed in the Church of San Nicolò at Lido.
Thus began centuries of dispute between Bari and Venice: who did really have the relics of Saint Nicholas? Only in the 1950s this challenge was stopped, by results of the anatomical examination of the bones in Bari and in Venice. They state that the fragments of the bones in Venice were complementary to the ones in Bari. And they both come from the same man’s skeleton. The numerous small pieces found by the Venetians are consistent with the accounts that sailors from Bari were in great hurry and gathered up nearly all of the larger pieces, thus leaving the smaller ones.
There are also several legends and tales about the translation of the relics into other places. According to a local Irish legend, St Nicholas’ remains rest in a grave in ruined Newtown Jerpoint (the medieval lost town near Thomastown, County Kilkenny, Ireland). The tale is about a band of Irish-Norman knights from Jerpoint, who travelled to the Holy Land to take part in the Crusades. On retreat, as they headed home to Ireland, they seized St Nicholas' remains, bringing them to Kilkenny, where the bones were buried and afterwards the Church of St Nicholas was built (nowadays ruined).
Another legend is telling that some of the Saint’s remains were brought by three pilgrims to a church where now Nikolausberg borough is (not far from the town of Göttingen), which name actually comes from this legend.