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Saint of the Day

St. Nicholas of Tolentino

September 10
Italian. 1245-1305
Patron of the Souls of Purgatory

His middle-aged parents, Compagnonus de Guarutti and Amata de Guidiani, were childless until a prayerful visit to a shrine of Saint Nicholas of Myra at Bari, Italy. In gratitude, the couple named their son Nicholas.

Nicholas became an Augustinian friar at age 18, and a student with Blessed Angelus de Scarpetti. Monk at Recanati and Macerata in Italy. Ordained at age 25. Canon of Saint Saviour's. There he received visions of angels reciting the phrase "to Tolentino"; he took this as a sign to move to that city in 1274, and there he lived the rest of his life.

Worked as a peacemaker in a city torn by civil war. Preached every day, wonder-worker and healer, and visited prisoners. He always told those he helped, "Say nothing of this." Received visions, including images of Purgatory, which friends ascribed to his lengthy fasts. Nicholas had a great devotion to the recently dead, praying for the souls in Purgatory as he travelled around his parish, and often late into the night.

Once, when severely ill, he had a vision of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Augustine of Hippo and Monica. They told him to eat a certain type of roll that had been dipped in water. Cured, he began healing others by administering bread over which he recited Marian prayers. The rolls became known as Saint Nicholas Bread, and are still distributed at his shrine.

Reported to have resurrected over one hundred dead children, including several who had drowned together. Legend says that the devil once beat Nicholas with a stick; the stick was displayed for years in the his church. A vegetarian, Nicholas was once served a roasted fowl; he made the sign of the cross over the bird, and it flew out a window. Nine passengers on ship going down at sea once asked for the aid of Saint Nicholas; he appeared in the sky, wearing the black Augustinian habit, radiating golden light, holding a lily in his left hand; with his right hand he quelled the storm. An apparition of the saint once saved the burning palace of the Doge of Venice by throwing a piece of blessed bread on the flames.

Lord, God of holiness and light, you do not allow any shadow of darkness or evil in your sight, and so in your mercy you grant to those who have left this world burdened with sin, a time of purification, applying to them the spiritual treasures of your holy Church. Hear my prayer and through the merits of Our Lord Jesus Christ, the Blessed Virgin Mary, the saints, and all your faithful people, bring to an end this time of waiting for our beloved dead, especially ___________________________. In your providence you have chosen Saint Nicholas of Tolentino as a special intercessor on behalf of the departed. Hear also his fervent prayer for those whom I recommend to you through his intercession. Amen.

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