He lived an unrestrained and vicious life as a youth. When once he happened to enter a church, he heard the words of the Prophet Isaiah: "Wash you (your sins), make you clean" (1:16). The words penetrated deeply into his soul, and effected a complete change in his life. Nikita left his home, his wife and his land and entered a monastery close to Pereyaslavl, where he laboured until his death in strict asceticism. He enveloped his body in chains and shut himself up in a pillar, being therefore known as a Stylite. God granted him great grace, and he healed people afflicted with various torments. He healed Michael, Prince of Chernigov, of palsy. One day some evildoers saw the chains on him and, seeing them gleam, thought them to be silver, so they killed him one night, took the chains off him and carried them away. This happened on May 16th, 1186. He appeared to a certain elder, Simeon, after his death and told him to place the chains, when they were found, in the grave beside his body.