He was born to an aristocratic family in Rossano (i Malena (from "History of Rossano" Alfredo Gradilone) is still today its memory the casino entitled to the family from which it takes its name, situated on the bank of the river clogging). He attended the school attached to the church of Rossano, becoming an excellent calligrapher and hymn writer; became interested in reading the Holy Scriptures and the lives of the Desert Fathers.
According to the historian Lenormant, Nicholas married before embarking on the life monaco, fascinated by the beauty of a girl of humble origins; had a daughter, but the marriage did not last long. He arranged for his wife and daughter did not have economic problems and then retreated in the eparchy of Mercurion orsomarso (an area on the border between Basilicata and Calabria so called because near the river that had been dedicated to the pagan god had settled monasteries, and hermitages, constituting a veritable "Thebaid".) in Mercurion in the period of the X-XI century studied personality, which will later be revered Saints including St. Nilus, San Fantino, St. Nicodemus, St. Luke, St. Macarius, St. Zaccaria and San Saba and many others.
Here was a pupil of San Fantino and devoted himself to the contemplative life, and charity; picked up and copied many codes. As the search continues for a greater perfection of spirit he retired to a hermitage and hidden in a cave where there was an altar dedicated to Saint Michael the Archangel near Mercurion.
It was not easy to become Nicola Monaco and take vows because of its original membership Decurionate Rossanese, but she took her vows in the convent of St. Basil.
He began his social work in San Demetrio Corone, a Basilian monastery founded on the ruins of the church dedicated to Saints Adrian and Natalia. He lived in San Demetrio twenty-five years, laying the foundations of Greek monastic institution which had as its task the reunification of the churches of East and West.
"Do not just shout at the darkness, we must shine a light"
The emperors of the East and the Roman Empire II Basil II asked him to go to Constantinople with the secret intention of raising it to the patriarchal see. The monastery of St. Nilus was devastated by the Saracens.
Only another 982 Basilian Christopher Vitale, resurrected from the ruins of the Cenobio making it one of the most important centers of learning and civilization.
Following the trial and the execution of the anti-John XVI uttered a curse against the Emperor Otto III and Pope Gregory V, who had left her pleas unheard of showing compassionate toward the usurper. When Gregory died in 999, Otto was so impressed to cross the entire southern Italy to search for the monastery of holy and beg for absolution. Found Nile, Emperor knelt down in tears and bared his head. The hermit, moved and convinced of the sincerity of repentance, absolved Brass and gave him back the crown. [Citation needed]
He died in 1004 during a pilgrimage to Rome near Tusculum.
St. Nile took his beloved disciple St. Bartholomew abbot, who had great respect for him, saying:
"St. Nilus saw that all men, all animals, even every creeping thing that moved upon the earth, and blindness were totally devoid of light and the earth itself was surrounded by a whole darkness and deep by a huge haze»