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Saint Nicholas of Flue
Saint Nicholas of Flue

Saint Nicholas of Flue

Feast Day
Mar 21, 2013
Pontifical Swiss Guards, Switzerland
<p>St. Nicholas was born in Canton of Unterwalden, in Switzerland.&nbsp; He was the son of wealthy peasants, and made himself distinguished as a soldier in action against the canton of Zurich, which had rebelled against the confederation.&nbsp; At the age of thirty he married, and they farmed in the Alpine foothills.&nbsp; He also continued in the military until the age of 37, rising to the position of captain, fighting with a sword in one hand, and a rosary in the other.&nbsp; After he left the military, he became a judge for his Canton. &nbsp;</p> <p>He received a mystical vision, which he recognized as indicating that the cares of his worldly life were swallowing up his spiritual life.&nbsp; He decided to devote himself entirely to the contemplative life.&nbsp; In 1467, he left his wife and his ten children with her consent and set himself up as a hermit, establishing a Chantry for a Priest from his own funds, so he could assist at daily Mass.&nbsp; Legend tells us that he survived for nineteen years with no food except for the Eucharist.&nbsp; His reputation for wisdom and piety was such that figures from across Europe came to seek advice from him, and he was known to all as &ldquo;Brother Klaus&rdquo;.&nbsp; In 1470, Pope Paul II granted the first indulgence to the sanctuary, and it became a place of pilgrimage. &nbsp;</p> <p>His wisdom and counsel prevented a civil war between the cantons in 1481, when their antagonism grew.&nbsp; The advice he gave them remains a secret to this day.&nbsp; Despite being illiterate and having limited experience with the world, he is honored among both Protestants and Catholics with the permanent national unity of Switzerland.&nbsp; When he died on March 21, 1487, his wife and children surrounded him.&nbsp; He was beatified in 1669, and a Church was built in his honor in Sachseln, where his body was interred.&nbsp; Pope Pius XII canonized him in 1947. &nbsp;</p> <p><span style="font-size: medium;"><strong>Practical Take Away</strong></span></p> <p>St. Nicholas of Flue was a spiritual young man that was from a wealthy peasant family.&nbsp; He became a soldier and rose to the rank of captain.&nbsp; He fought with a sword in one hand, and a rosary in the other.&nbsp; He left the military and had a vision that his worldly concerns were taking away from his spiritual life.&nbsp; He became a hermit, and lived for 19 years on the Eucharist alone.&nbsp; He is the Patron saint of Switzerland and the Pontifical Swiss Guards.&nbsp; He grew in wisdom, and counseled many leaders in the ways of God.&nbsp;</p>