NOTICE: I am a practicing Catholic, active and in good-standing with my local parish, who professes faith and loyalty to the Church. This ministry - my "little work" - is strictly a personal expression of that faith and loyalty, and not an officially recognized ministry in the Diocese of Honolulu. ~ Peter

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Saint of the Month - March 2015: Saint Nicholas of Flue

St. Nicholas of Flue
A Herald of God's Peace ~ Feast: March 21st

St. Nicholas was born on March 21, 1417, to pious peasants from the mountain hamlet of Flue in Sachseln, Switzerland. He was a farmer and soldier in his youth, before marrying a local girl named Dorothea at age 25. Together, the couple had five sons and five daughters, and was respected in their community for their exemplary Christian conduct.  Nicholas, more so, was so highly esteemed, he was elected a local judge - an office he fulfilled worthily for many years. 

Despite his successes in life, Nicholas was not completely happy.  In his heart he felt a call from the Lord which became stronger as years went by.  Finally in 1467, he confided to his wife and children that he felt called by the Lord to live a solitary life in the wilderness - a divine call he could no longer resist.  Dorothea was naturally devastated, at first, but her deep faith in God gave her the courage to let her husband go.  So with their reluctant approval, Nicholas left his family behind and set up a makeshift hermitage in a nearby valley.

A view of the inside of St. Nicholas' austere hermitage
in Flue, Switzerland.
For the next 20 years Nicholas lived alone communing with God and nature.  His neighbors initially thought him insane but eventually understood that Nicholas was indeed living a unique mission from God… especially when it came to light that he had started to live without need of earthly food and water but survived miraculously on Holy Communion alone!  Official confirmation of the hermit’s perpetual fast came after a month-long investigation conducted by local authorities during which he was closely observed and his activities scrutinized.  In the end, the investigators came away convinced of a miracle and impressed by the holy man’s virtues.
"Brother Klaus", as he was affectionately called, became the spiritual focal point for Switzerland.  Volunteers built a chapel, attached to his little shack, and crowds flocked to the site to request prayers and advice from him.  The hermit preached Faith, Prayer, Peace and Brotherly Love to all who visited him… and in 1481 his inspired counsel averted a major civil war in the country after he was consulted by rival political factions.

Brother Klaus died of natural causes in 1487, revered by both Catholic and Swiss Protestants, alike.  His reputation for exceptional holiness was confirmed by the Church during his Beatification in 1649 and his subsequent Canonization in 1947.  Today, devotion to Brother Klaus continues to thrive in his home country.  Not surprisingly, he was named the Patron Saint of Switzerland and also of separated couples.

A Reflection
“In the same way, anyone of you who does not renounce all of his possessions cannot be my disciple.”  ~ Words of Our Lord, Luke 14:33

A Short Prayer
Dear St. Nicholas, help us to detach ourselves from vain and material desires.  Rather, like you, help us to fulfill the Will of God in our lives and to desire only that which pleases Him.  Amen.

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