St. Nicholas of Flue was born in 1417 near the Lake of Lucerne in Switzerland. He was married at age 30, and had 10 children. He was a devoted husband and father, and also donated his talents and time to his community, and was an excellent moral example.
In his private life, Nicholas cultivated a strong relationship with God. He had a strict regime of fasting, and spent a great deal of time in contemplative prayer.
When he was 50 years old, Nicholas felt called to live as a hermit. His wife and children approved, so he left home to live in a hermitage a few miles away. While he was there, he gained a reputation for personal holiness. Many people sought him out to request his prayers and his advice.
For 13 years, Nicholas lived as a hermit. But in 1481, a dispute arose between the delegates of the Swiss confederates at Stans, which could have led to a civil war. Nicholas was called to settle the dispute, so he drafted several proposals until an agreement was made.
St. Nicholas then returned to his hermitage, and died six years later on March 21, 1487, surrounded by his wife and children.