Monday, September 26, 2016

St. Nilus the Younger of Rossano

Saint Nilus the Younger (910 – December 27, 1005), was a monk, abbot, and founder of Italo-Greek monasticism in southern Italy. His feast day is celebrated on September 26.

Born to a Greek family of Rossano, in the Byzantine Theme of Calabria, for a time he was married and had a daughter. Sickness brought about his conversion, however, and from that time he became a monk and a propagator of the rule of St. Basil in Italy.
He was known for his ascetic life, his virtues, and theological learning. For a time he lived as a hermit, later he spent certain periods of his life at various monasteries which he either founded or restored. He was for some time at Monte Cassino, and again at the Alexius monastery at Rome. He was a charismatic leader and an important figure of his time.
When Pope Gregory V was driven out of Rome, Nilus opposed the usurpation of Philogatos of Piacenza as antipope. Later when Philogatos was tortured and mutilated, he reproached Gregory and the Emperor Otto III for this crime.
Sant'Agata monastery in Amalfi coast
St. Nilus' chief work was the foundation in 1004 of the famous Greek monastery of Grottaferrata near Frascati, on lands granted him by Gregory, count of Tusculum; he is counted as the first Abbot there. He spent the end of his life partly in St. Agata monastery in Tusculum and partly in a hermitage at Valleluce near Gaeta. He died in the Sant'Agata monastery in 1005.

St. Nilus is revered as the patron Saint of the scribes and calligraphers.

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