Feast Day : November 12
Also known as: Nilus the Elder
Nilus was among the leading ascetic writers of his day. He was married and had two sons, and worked as an officer in the court of Constantinople. He was a Praetorian prefect. Nilus was drawn to St. John Chrysostom and became one of his fervent admirers and disciples. Around 404, Nilus left his wife and one son and took the second son, Theodolus, to Mount Sinai, where they became monks. Invading Saracens from the desert took Theodolus prisoner and sold him as a slave. He eventually was taken in by the bishop of Eleusa in Palestine. Nilus found him, and both were ordained priests by the bishop. Nilus is believed to have died around 430. Nilus authored numerous works on virtues and vices, the monastic life and maxims for his disciples. He also wrote numerous letters, of which 1,061 survive.