Tuesday, 21 March 2017

# Saints

Saint Nicholas of Flue

Nicholas of Flüe, from the altar piece of the local parish church in Sachseln.
The 21st of March is the feast day of Saint Nicholas of Flue. He is the patron saint of Switzerland, Pontifical Swiss Guards. 

Sant Nicholas of Flue was born in Switzerland in 1417. He joined the army at the age of 21. He married in his mid twenties and had five sons and five daughters. He held several civil offices and was held in esteem by all due to his moral integrity. He became a hermit with the consent of his wife, after 25 years of marriage. He lived in a dwelling he made built of branches and only left it for daily mass. On behalf of his local people, he made penance, spending his days in prayer with his head and feet bare and wearing a tunic. He abstained totally from food and drink with the permission of the parish priest and this was confirmed as a miracle by the Church. He became known as a visionary and prophet, living like this for 20 years. People came from all over Europe to hear his counsel. He was assigned as a chaplain when the civil authorities built him a cell and chapel. When a civil war was imminent, he intervened as an arbiter which resulted in a union of French and German-speaking parts of Switzerland. After his death in 1487, his hermitage became a site for pilgrimage.

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