Saint Nilus the Elder

icon of Saint Nilus the Elder, Yakov Bogatenko, 1904; swiped off WikipediaAlso known as

  • Nilus of Sinai
  • Nilus of Ancyra
  • Neilos of….



Byzantine imperial official; may even have been a Prætorian Prefect. Married and father of two. When the children were grown, Nilus and the wife agreed to lead separate lives devoted to God. Monk on Mount Sinai with his son Theodulus.

After a few years on the Mount, Arab raiders kidnapped Theodulus. Nilus went in search of him and found him in Eleusa in Palestine where the bishop had ransomed him out of slavery and made him the door-keeper of his church. The bishop ordained them both, and the returned to Sinai.

Noted author on theological matters, his works influenced the Eastern Church. Bishop of Ancyra. Friend, supporter and spiritual student of Saint John Chrystostom.



  • c.430 of natural causes


MLA Citation

  • “Saint Nilus the Elder“. CatholicSaints.Info. 11 August 2020. Web. 23 January 2021. <>