Catholic Encyclopedia (1913)/Nilus the Younger

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Catholic Encyclopedia (1913), Volume 11
Nilus the Younger

by Adrian Fortescue


Of Rossano, in Calabria; born in 910, died 27 December, 1005. For a time he was married (or lived unlawfully); he 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 iisred 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. When Gregory V (966-999) was driven out of Rome, Nilus opposed the usurpation of Philogatos (John) of Piacenza as antipope. Later when Philogatos was tortured and mutilated he reproached Gregory and the Emperor Otto III (993-1002) for this crime. Nilus' chief work was the foundation of the famous Greek monastery of Grottaferrata, near Frascati, of which he is counted the first abbot. He spent the end of his life partly there and partly in a hermitage at Valleluce near Gaeta. His feast is kept on 26 September, both in the Byzantine Calendar and the Roman martyrology.

ADRIAN FORTESCUE