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He had heard, when only seven years of age, that his holy patron, St. Nicholas, had, when an infant, abstained every Wednesday and Friday, from his mother's breast, and had begun immediately to pass the same two days without any food. To these two fast-days, he, in the course of time, added two more. During thirty years, he never touched either flesh or fish; he even abstained from eggs, milk, and fruit, contenting himself with bread, vegetables and water.

Even when seriously sick, he deviated not from this austerity. Once when the physicians prescribed meat for him, and the General of the Order commanded him to follow their advice, he obeyed, but having taken a little, he begged to be excused from eating more, saying that he would regain strength without it, which did not fail to happen. Besides these continual fasts, the holy man chastised his innocent body in various ways.

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He constantly wore a hair-shirt, and scourged himself every night with an iron chain. He took a short rest at night on the bare floor, and never allowed his body the slightest recreation. One day, when someone told him not to be too severe upon himself, he said: "I have not entered the religious state to indulge in my own comfort.

Story of Saint Nicholas - Part -1 - English - Story of Saints For Kids

His solicitude for the salvation of souls was indefatigable, and he reformed a great many by his sermons and private discourses. To visit the sick and prisoners and to comfort and assist them, was his greatest pleasure. Not less deep was his compassion for the souls in purgatory, and as he offered daily his prayers, his penances and holy Mass for them, he released a great many from their suffering.

To Mary, the divine Mother, he was most fervently devoted from his early childhood, and therefore, he received many and great favors from her. Once, when suffering from a severe fever, he thought that his last hour had arrived, and he was overcome with fear while meditating on the judgments of the Almighty. He appealed to his beloved mother, the Blessed Virgin, who deigned to appear to him, telling him to put aside all fear and be hopeful. She, at the same time, blessed a crust of bread that was lying beside him, and told him to eat of it, which he had no sooner done, than the fever left him.

This is the origin of the so-called Tolentine bread, which is blessed on the feast of this Saint, and is often very beneficial to the sick.

September —ST. NICHOLAS OF TOLENTINO - My Catholic Life!

He himself wrought many miracles in favor of the sick and poor, as may be seen in his more circumstantial biography. We will only add a few lines about his happy death, the hour of which God had revealed to him, but which was preceded by a painful sickness that lasted six months.

During this time, he derived an indescribable consolation from heavenly music which he heard during the night or towards morning. Several times this was heard also by those who were with him. He received the Holy Sacraments with wonderful devotion, shedding many tears.


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The crucifix, which enclosed a particle of the wood of the holy Cross, he kissed most fervently, praying to the Almighty to assist him in his last combat, and to guard him from all danger by the power of the holy Cross. Besides this, his heart was filled with the desire to behold God in heaven, whom he had loved above everything on earth.

Hence he called aloud several times: "Oh! Augustine, calls me to Him with these words: "Come, thou pious and faithful servant!

Statue of St. Nicholas of Tolentino

He is represented with a lily in his hand and a star on his breast. The lily represents the angelic purity and innocence which he kept inviolate; the star, the holy life of the great servant of the Almighty. Nicholas was, during his life, a bright star in the church of God, on account of his many and great virtues. Nicholas worked to counteract the decline of morality and religion which came with the development of city life in the late thirteenth century.

On account of his kind and gentle manner his superiors entrusted him with the daily feeding of the poor at the monastery gates, but at times he was so free with the friary's provisions that the procurator begged the superior to check his generosity. Upon doing so he was immediately stronger.

He started distributing these rolls to the ailing, while praying to Mary, often curing the sufferers; this is the origin of the Augustinian custom of blessing and distributing Saint Nicholas Bread. In Tolentino, Nicholas worked as a peacemaker in a city torn by strife between the Guelphs and Ghibellines who, in the conflict for control of Italy, supported the Pope and the Holy Roman Emperor respectively. He ministered to his flock, helped the poor and visited prisoners. When working wonders or healing people, he always asked those he helped to "Say nothing of this", explaining that he was just God's instrument.

During his life, Nicholas is said to have received visions, including images of Purgatory , which friends ascribed to his lengthy fasts.


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Prayer for the souls in Purgatory was the outstanding characteristic of his spirituality. Towards the end of his life he became ill, suffering greatly, but still continued the mortifications that had been part of his holy life.

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There are many tales and legends which relate to Nicholas. One says the devil once beat him with a stick, which was then displayed for years in his church. In another, Nicholas, a vegetarian, was served a roasted fowl, for which he made the sign of the cross , and it flew out a window. Nine passengers on a ship going down at sea once asked Nicholas' aid, and he appeared in the sky, wearing the black Augustinian habit, radiating golden light, holding a lily in his left hand, and with his right hand, he quelled the storm.

An apparition of the saint, it is said, once saved the burning palace of the Doge of Venice by throwing a piece of blessed bread on the flames. He was also reported to have resurrected over one hundred dead children, including several who had drowned together. According to the Peruvian chronicler Antonio de la Calancha , it was St.

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He reported that all children born to Spanish colonists there died in childbirth or soon thereafter, until a father dedicated his unborn child to St. Nicholas of Tolentino whose own parents, after all, had required saintly intervention to have a child. He was the first Augustinian to be canonized. The remains of St. He is particularly invoked as an advocate for the souls in Purgatory, especially during Lent and the month of November.

In many Augustinian churches, there are weekly devotions to St Nicholas on behalf of the suffering souls. November 2, All Souls' Day, holds special significance for the devotees of St. Nicholas of Tolentino. Many places lay claim to St. Nicholas relics, as listed below. The second major repository for St. We do not worship relics any more than we do the sun or moon, the angels, archangels, or seraphims. We honor them in honor of He whose faith the saints gave witness. We honor the Master by means of his servants. Who is St. Relics Examination of a Relic Traveling Relics.

Saint Nicholas Relics— Where are they?