Friday, May 14, 2010

St. Nicholas of Flue (1417 to March 21, 1487)

"Will I be able to find a store that sells cuckoo clocks?" I asked at the outdoor cafe in Geneva, Switzerland.
"You certainly will," said my waiter with a chuckle.
As I set out that morning to explore the city, it was like something out of a children's picture book. It seemed that around every corner was a clock shop. My mother had wanted a Black Forest cuckoo clock for so many years and now I was surrounded by them. Each shopkeeper would ask if I'd like him to wind one up, until there would be 20 going at once.
I finally decided on a brightly colored one with lumberjacks that danced around and made with the finest wood. I had it mailed back home and it arrived there safely before I returned from my vacation.
Today, it's a favorite with my little nephews Jack and Eric.
My best memories of Switzerland include milk chocolate and delicious cheeses, and of course, the Swiss Alps.
One of the patron saints is St. Nicholas of Flue. He was born in 1417 in Unterwalden, Switzerland. He was a soldier who married a farmer's daughter at age 30 and had 10 children.
St. Nicholas of Flue had many visions, one which involved a horse eating a lily. He decided to leave his family and become a hermit (his wife agreed with it). He helped a priest set up a chapel and serve Mass. For 19 years, St. Nicholas of Flue lived on the Eucharist as his only sustenance.
He died on March 21,1487 in Sachsein. Canonized: 1947. His feast day is March 21.

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