St. Nicodemus was born and named Nicholas in a.d. 1749 on Naxos Island in Greece, then under the Ottoman Turks. He studied theology, Greek, Latin, French, and Italian at an academy in Smyrna, Asia Minor. He returned to Naxos in a.d. 1770, when his education was stopped because of the persecution of Christians under the Turks. There he met the renowned St. Macarios Notaras of Corinth, who greatly influenced his life. Five years later, when just 26, he left the world and went to the Holy Mount Athos to become a monk of Dionysiou Monastery.
At monastic tonsure, he was given the name Nicodemus, and he zealously lived the ascetic life, learning the art of Hesychast Prayer, always repeating, “Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy on me!” He edited and revised “The Philokalia” with St. Macarios, and also translated and edited “The Spiritual Combat” (a.d. 1589) by Lorenzo Scupoli, a Venetian Catholic priest, reworking and renaming it “Unseen Warfare.” He was a prolific writer, with over 50 volumes to his credit. He supported the traditional views of the Kollavades monks of Mount Athos. St. Nicodemus died in a.d. 1809.