Fr. Nikephoros (in the world, Nicholas) was born in a village of Chania (Crete), in Serikari. His parents were simple and pious villagers, who while he was still a small child, died and left him an orphan. Thus, at the age of thirteen he left his home, traveled to Chania and began to work in a barbershop. There he started to show the first signs of Hansen's disease (i.e. leprosy). At that time, lepers were exiled to the island of Spinaloga, because leprosy was a transmissible disease and was treated with fear and horror. Nicholas, when he was sixteen years old and when the signs of his disease began to be more visible, to flee from enclosure on Spinaloga fled with a boat for Egypt. There he remained working in Alexandria, again in a barbershop, however the signs of his disease became even more evident, especially on his hands and face. Due to the suggestions of a cleric he fled to Chios where there was a home for lepers, in which was a priest, Fr. Anthimos Vagianos, later St. Anthimos of Chios.
There was a unique spiritual relationship between St. Anthimos and monk Nikephoros, who “did not separate himself from him by even a step”, as mentioned by Fr. Theoklitos of Dionysiou in his book “St. Anthimos of Chios”. Fr. Nikephoros prayed for endless hours at night, performing countless prostrations, not offering a word to anyone nor spoiling his heart on anyone, and was the head chanter of the church. Because of his illness, however, slowly he lost his eyesight and most of the hymns were chanted by others.
Though he was confined to bed, with wounds and pains, he did not murmur but showed great patience.
He had the grace of comforting the troubled.
His eyes were constantly irritated, his vision was minimal, and he had hooked hands and paralyzed lower extremities.
Besides all of these he was most sweet, mild, greatly smiling, relating grace-filled stories, he was enjoyable, lovable.
His face, which was eaten by the signs of his sickness and wounds, shone and imparted joy to all who saw this totally poor and phenomenally sick man who said: “Let His holy Name be glorified.”
At the age of 74, on January 4th 1964, Fr. Nikephoros reposed in the Lord. His holy relics were fragrant when they were later uncovered. Fr. Eumenios, and other pious people offered many occasions when miracles occurred at the intercessions of Fr. Nikephoros.
(from the book: Nikephoros the Leper: The Radiant Athlete of Patience, by Monk Simon, Athens 2007; amateur translation of the Greek text from: http://ierapostoli.wordpress.com/2009/02/27/tyflos_nikoforos/)