Flüe, Nicholas von der, Saint

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Nicholas von der Flüe, Saint (fən dĕr flü´ə), 1417–87, Swiss patriot and folk hero. He was leader of the cantonal forces fighting Austria and counselor for many years to the duke of Saxony. In 1467 he left his worldly life to become a hermit in Obwalden. When dissension arose among the federated cantons, his influence at the Diet of Stans (1481) brought about the preservation of peace. A covenant, drawn up to regulate federal relations, made the urban cantons a majority; it remained in effect until 1798. He was canonized in 1947. Feast: Mar. 21.