Flue Nikolaus Von Der

Flue Nikolaus Von Der, also known under the name of Brother Klaus, was born at Flueli, in the canton of Unterwalden, Switzerland, March 21, 1417. He was religiously educated, and was early distinguished for his asceticism, while, at the same time, he neglected none of his social duties. He served in the army with distinction, and afterwards was nineteen years councillor of state and judge. His countrymen would have appointed him to the highest offices, but he declined, and, resigning even his function of judge, he left his family October 16, 1467, barefooted, bareheaded, and coarsely clad, to withdraw from the world entirely, and live in the wilderness. He settled among the Alps, where he is said to have lived for twenty years without touching any food except the consecrated wafer brought to him by the priest. The people erected a chapel for him, and he gained great renown. After 1477 he began preaching in the chapel. In 1481 he suddenly appeared at a diet of the eight cantons, which at that time composed the Swiss Confederation, held at Slanz, and by an effective address averted the threatening disruption of the Confederation. He died March 21, 1487. He was canonized in 1669 by Clement IX. — Herzog, Real-Encyklop. 4:431; Piper, Evang. Kalender, 1851; Goldlin von Tieffenau, Geist und Leben des heil. Bruders Klaus (2d edit. Lucerne, 1808); Businger, Bruder Klaus u. sein Zeitalter (Lucerne, 1827); Schneller, Ueber Nicolaus von der Flue (Einsied. 1852). There are also biographies by Wysing, Weissenbach, Herzog, Widmer, Geiger, and G. Gorres.

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