Saint Nicholas of Flüe

detail of an illustration of Saint Nicholas of FlueAlso known as

  • Brother Klaus
  • Bruder Klaus
  • Nicholas von Flüe
  • Niklaus von Flüe



Born to a family of relatively wealthy peasants. Soldier who distinguished himself in combat against the break-away canton of Zurich and eventually reached the rank of captain; reported to have fought with a sword in one hand, a rosary in the other. At age 30 he married Dorothy Wiss; they couple had ten children. Cantonal judge and government advisor; declined to serve as cantonal governor. Following a vision of a harnessed draft horse (representing his worldly life as a farmer) eating a lily (representing his spiritual life of purity), Nicholas felt a desire withdraw from the world. With the approval of his family, he became a hermit in the Ranft valley, Switzerland in 1467; he assisted daily at Mass and spent most of the rest of his day in prayer. Reported to have had the gifts of prophecy and of inedia, surviving for 19 years solely on Holy Communion. His reputation for sanctity spread, and he attracted spiritual students. In 1481 he was called on to mediate a dispute that threatened civil war in Switzerland. He succeeded in averting the conflict, then retired to his hermitage. He is considered by many to be the father of this country, honoured by both Swiss Protestants and Catholics for his wisdom, holiness and work to unify Switzerland.






MLA Citation

  • “Saint Nicholas of Flüe“. CatholicSaints.Info. 17 September 2021. Web. 22 October 2021. <>