Saint of the Day for 10 September: St Nicholas of Tolentino
St Nicholas of Tolentino: an Augustinian friar, thaumaturge and protector of the souls in purgatory
St Nicholas of Tolentino
1245, Sant’Angelo in Pontano, Macerata
10 September 1305, Tolentino, Marche
1446, Rome, Pope Eugene IV
Admirable St. Admirable St. Nicholas, who, born through the intercession of the great thaumaturge of Bari, was not content to bear his name out of gratitude, but did all your studies to copy his virtues in yourself; who even as a child made retreat, prayer and fasting your delight, and as a tender youth, the more you advanced in piety, the greater was your progress in your literary career; Impose upon us all the grace never to slacken in the exercise of evangelical mortification and always to suffer with peace and joy whatever afflictive and tormenting things may befall us on earth. Amen.
Patron Saint of
Modugno, Rosignano Marittimo, Viadana, Vigone, Monterubbiano, San Valentino in Abruzzo Citeriore, San Nicola Arcella, Sant’Angelo in Pontano, Albi, Solarolo Rainerio
Souls of purgatory
In Tolentino in the Marches, Saint Nicholas, a priest of the Order of the Hermits of Saint Augustine, who, dedicated to strict abstinence and assiduous in prayer, was severe with himself, but clement with others, and often imposed the penances of others on himself.
The Saint and Mission
St Nicholas of Tolentino, canonised in 1446 by Pope Eugene IV, is known for his life dedicated to the apostolate and the service of the neediest communities. His ‘mission’, understood as a divine vocation, takes shape through a series of concrete actions that manifest God’s love for humanity.
One of the most outstanding aspects of St Nicholas’ mission was his ability to go out to meet people, without waiting for them to come to him. In this sense, his mission was not confined within the walls of a church or monastery, but went out into the streets, into people’s homes, among the sick and needy, among those who, for various reasons, found themselves on the margins of society.
During his ministry, St Nicholas did not just provide material aid, but also nurtured people’s spirituality through prayer and religious education. He realised that to bring about true transformation, it was necessary to work not only on the outer circumstances but also on the inner world of individuals. His mission therefore had a profoundly formative dimension, aimed at nourishing people’s spiritual life to guide them towards a deeper relationship with God.
St Nicholas’ dedication to praying for the souls in purgatory is further evidence of his spiritually oriented mission. Through this act of continuous prayer, he embodied a form of intercessory mission, praying unceasingly for those who had passed on to a life beyond earthly death, showing a profound understanding of the communion of saints and the intrinsic bond that unites all human beings in Christ.
His commitment to promoting forgiveness and reconciliation between enemies demonstrates his vision of a mission aimed not only at individual salvation but also at building a more peaceful and harmonious society. Through his work, St Nicholas sought to overcome the divisions and animosities present in his historical context, showing a path to peace and mutual understanding.
Moreover, the legend of the loaves, associated with St Nicholas, highlights a miraculous dimension of his mission. The loaves, a sign of divine providence and sharing, symbolise the abundance that can result from faith and dedication to God. His life of prayer, fasting and penance nourished his mission with a deep inner life, rooted in an intimate relationship with God.
Today, St Nicholas of Tolentino invites us to reflect on how we can live a ‘mission’ in our daily context. He urges us to overcome the barriers of indifference and selfishness, to put ourselves at the service of others with a love that goes beyond words and translates into concrete actions. He also invites us not to forget the transcendent dimension of our existence, reminding us of the importance of prayer and spiritual search as the foundation of any true mission.
In conclusion, the figure of St Nicholas of Tolentino invites us to be missionaries in the profound sense of the term, seeking to respond with love and dedication to the spiritual and material needs of our time, inspired by his life of service and deep communion with God.
The Saint and Mercy
St Nicholas of Tolentino, a saint of the Order of St Augustine who lived between the 13th and 14th centuries, is widely known for his profound dedication to the act of mercy, embodying the values of Christian charity in his life. His reputation as a healer and his uninterrupted service to the poor, the sick and the dying make clear the deep connection between his spirituality and the concrete expression of mercy.
St Nicholas devoted himself to the practice of mercy with a holistic approach, giving importance not only to the spiritual but also to the material needs of the people he assisted. He is a model of how mercy can be translated into everyday, practical and concrete actions, providing not only spiritual consolation but also food and material support to those in need.
In the context of his era, a historical phase marked by widespread poverty and endemic disease, St Nicholas’ work emerges as a beacon of light, a living expression of God’s mercy reaching into the darkest corners of the human condition.
The celebration of daily Mass and his deep devotion to the Eucharist were central to his prayer life; through the Eucharist, in fact, St Nicholas found the strength and inspiration to live mercy in a concrete way, offering himself in loving service to others. He is also said to have had heavenly visions that encouraged him to pray for the souls in purgatory, another sign of his deep compassion and mercy for others.
His actions, as well as a response to people’s immediate needs, were also a way of showing that God’s grace can work through acts of bodily and spiritual mercy, bringing relief and hope to those in distress.
St Nicholas of Tolentino reminds us that mercy is not just an abstract concept, but a living reality that can be embodied through concrete actions. His unwavering service shows that mercy goes beyond compassion; it is an active commitment to the welfare of others, a deep dedication that finds expression in a willingness to sacrifice oneself for one’s neighbour.
In today’s world, the figure of St Nicholas of Tolentino can serve as a warning and an inspiration, calling us to live mercy not just through words, but through concrete actions, immersing ourselves in the realities of suffering of others and seeking ways to bring relief and hope through our loving service and dedication to the good of others.
In conclusion, St Nicholas of Tolentino provides a shining example of how mercy can be integrated into every aspect of our lives, inviting us to transform our compassion into actions that reflect the love, kindness and generosity of God’s merciful heart.
His parents, pious Christians and childless, made a pilgrimage to St Nicholas of Bari to obtain a son. And in the year 1245 in S. Angelo, near. Fermo, little Nicholas was born to them, so named in homage to the Apulian saint.
From his earliest years, they took care to instil Christian sentiments in him, and…