St. Nicholas of Tolentino
Feast Day: September 10
Born: 1245 / Died: 1305
Nicholas was born in Ancona, Italy after his parents had waited a long time for a child. Nicholas was the answer to prayer and a pilgrimage they made to the shrine of St. Nicholas of Bari. His parents were so grateful to the saint that they named their baby after him.
When Nicholas grew up, he wanted to become a priest. He prayed a lot and wanted to live close to God. Friends of his family wanted him to be a priest in a rich parish where Nicholas would be promoted.
Nicholas didn't say anything, but quietly prayed to God for direction. One day he slipped into a church where Father Reginald, a fervent Augustinian priest was giving a sermon. He said: "Don't love the world or the things of this world because this world is passing away."
These words went deep into Nicholas' heart and he realized how God had used that preacher to touch his own life. He knew now the importance of preaching God's Word.
He decided to join the Augustinian Friars when he was just eighteen years old and Father Reginald became his novice master. Then he began his studies for the priesthood and became a priest around 1270.
Father Nicholas spread God's word with love in many parishes. Then while praying in church one day, he seemed to hear a voice saying: "To Tolentino, to Tolentino. Stay there." Soon afterward, he was sent to the town of Tolentino.
He spent the remaining thirty years of his life there. There was great political trouble in those times and many people did not come to church to hear the Word and to worship the Lord.
The friars of St. Augustine decided that street-preaching was necessary. St. Nicholas willingly preached in gathering places where people listened and many repented of their sins and lack of caring and began to lead better lives.
Father Nicholas spent hours in the slum areas of Tolentino. He visited the lonely, brought the sacraments to the sick and dying. He took care of the needs of children and visited prisoners.
Miracles were reported while St. Nicholas was still alive. He touched a diseased child and said, "May the good God make you well," and the child was cured. St. Nicholas of Tolentino was sick for about a year before he died on September 10, 1305.
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