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Saint of the day: St Nicholas of Tolentino

The life of St Nicholas of Tolentino is studded with miracles that were the basis, together with numerous documents, of the process of canonisation convened by John XXII in 1325

Nicholas was born in 1245 thanks to a vow his parents made to St Nicholas of Bari, after whom he was named

He led an ascetic life, following a strict spiritual rule, accompanied by an equally strict rule on food: no meat, eggs, dairy products or fruit, only vegetables and legume broth without condiments, not to mention fasts that covered at least three days a week.

Many were the hours he devoted to prayer and confessional, mercifully welcoming those who approached him full of shame. He served the poor and urged the rich to help them out of social justice.

Nicholas, the Saint

There were many testimonies of miracles brought to the trial that made St Nicholas a great and famous saint.

40 years after his death, his arms detached from his still uncorrupted body and, according to tradition, a copious outpouring of blood required several tablecloths to plug it up; these tablecloths are still kept in silver reliquaries in the Basilica of Tolentino.

Buried again, the exact location of the body was lost, while the arms were placed in silver reliquaries, which have shed blood eleven times since the 15th century. In 1926, the body was found inside the church and was thus reassembled.


He is invoked as protector of the souls in purgatory, but also as protector in case of fire and epidemics.

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