St Nicholas of Tolentino Confessor
St Nicholas of Tolentino Confessor (1245 -1305)
St Nicholas of Tolentino owes his baptismal name to the fact that he was born in response to the prayer of his parents, Campagnone and Amata de Guarutti, to St Nicholas of Ban, his mother at that time being already well advanced in age.
As a child he was such a model of holiness that he was made Canon of Tolentino in Italy, while still a student at 17. But moved by a sermon of a certain Fr Reginaldo on the text lJn 2:15-17 (“Do not love the world ), he soon resigned this dignity, however, renouncing all prospects of Ecclesiastical eminence and joined the austere Hermits of St Augustine. Here he came to be known for his remarkable devotion, angelic meekness, and sincere striving after perfection. On being ordained, he resolved to preach the word of God daily and soon gained renown for eloquence and an extraordinary gift of miracles his mere blessing healed the infirm.
Above all else, Nicholas had a deep concern for the poor and his ardent charity for the holy souls in Purgatory earned him the title of “Advocate of the souls in Purgatory”. Repeatedly it was shown him in a vision during Mass how he had gained the release of a soul by offering the Holy Sacrifice for it. Nicholas died on 10 September 1305. His body is enshrined in a basilica at Tolentino, where his arms are said to exude blood whenever the Church is threatened with misfortune. It was in 1446 that Nicholas was raised to the honours of the Altar.