St Nicetas lived in the eighth century and became the Abbot of the Monastery of Medicium, which was near the city of Triglia on the Sea of Marmara. For his Orthodox confession of the veneration of the holy icons, he was persecuted and exiled twice by the Iconoclast Emperor Leo the Armenian, but recalled by Michael the Stutterer, and reposed, adorned with the twofold crown of holiness and of confession of the Orthodox Faith, about the year 824 AD.
St Niketas was born in Bithynian Caesarea (northwest Asia Minor) of a pious family. His mother died eight days after his birth, and his father Philaretos became a monk. The child remained in the care of his grandmother, who raised him in a true Christian spirit. From his youth St Niketas attended church and was a disciple of the hermit Stephanos. With his blessing, St Niketas set off to the Mydicia monastery, where St Nikephoros (commemorated Marh 13) was the Abbot.
After seven years of virtuous life at the monastery, famed for its strict monastic rule, St Niketas was ordained Presbyter. St Nicephoros, knowing the holy life of the young monk, entrusted to him the guidance of the monastery when he himself became ill. Not wanting power, St Niketas devoted himself to the enlightenment and welfare of the monastery. He guided the brethren by his own example. Soon the fame of the lofty life of its inhabitants of the monastery attracted many seeking salvation. After several years, the number of monks had increased to one hundred. When St Nicephoros departed to the Lord in his old age, the brethren unanimously chose St Niketas as the Abbot.
The Lord granted St Niketas the gift of wonderworking. Through his prayer, a deaf-mute child received the gift of speech; two demon-possessed women were healed; he restored reason to one who had lost his mind, and many of the sick were healed of their infirmities.
During these years under the emperor Leo the Armenian (813-820 AD), the Iconoclast heresy resurfaced and oppression increased. Orthodox Bishops were deposed and banished. At Constantinople, a council of heretics was convened in 815 AD, at which they deposed the holy Patriarch Nikephoros (806-815 AD), and in his place they chose the heretical layman Theodotos. They also installed heretics in place of exiled and imprisoned Orthodox Bishops.
The emperor summoned all the heads of the monasteries and tried to bring them over to the Iconoclast heresy. Among those summoned was St Niketas, who stood firmly for the Orthodox confession. Following his example, all the Abbots remained faithful to the veneration of holy icons. Therefore, they threw him into prison. St Niketas bravely underwent all the tribulations and encouraged firmness of spirit in the other prisoners.
Then the emperor and the false patriarch Theodotos attempted to trick those who remained faithful to Orthodox teaching. They promised that the emperor would give them their freedom and permit the veneration of the icons on one condition: that they take Communion from the pseudo-patriarch Theodotos.
For a long time the Saint had doubts about entering into communion with a heretic, but other prisoners begged him to go along with them. Acceding to their entreaties, St Niketas went into the church, where icons were put out to deceive the confessors, and he accepted Communion. However, when he returned to his monastery and saw that the persecution against icons was continuing, he then repented of his deed, returned to Constantinople and fearlessly denounced the Iconoclast heresy. He ignored all the emperor's threats.
St Niketas was again locked up in prison for six years until the death of the emperor Leo the Armenian. Enduring hunger and travail, St Niketas worked miracles by the power of his prayers; through his prayer, the Phrygian ruler released two captives without ransom; three shipwrecked men for whom St Niketas prayed, were thrown up on shore by the waves.
St Niketas reposed in the Lord in 824 AD. The Saint's body was buried at the monastery with reverence. Later, his relics became a source of healing for those coming to venerate the holy confessor.