Saint Nicholas of Tolentino


Born in 1245 at Sant'Angelo in Pontano, Saint Nicholas took his name from Saint Nicholas of Myra. At the age of 16, he became an Augustinian Friar after hearing the preaching of Reginaldo da Monterubbiano Prior of the monastery at Sant'Angelo and began studying under Blessed Angelus de Scarpetti. After studying at several different monasteries, he was ordained at the age of 25 and began having visions of angels calling out the words "To Tolentino".


Saint Nicholas took these words to heart and soon moved to the town of Tolentino. There he was steadfast in his mission to feed the poor, often depleting the monastery's provisions to give away. He would spend his days fasting and completing works of penance when not attending to the poor. A famous story during this time involved one such fast. Physically weak from an especially long fast, Saint Augustine, Mary, and Saint Monica appeared to him in a vision and told him in prayer to eat bread marked with a cross and soaked in water. Miraculously , after eating the bread his strength was fully restored. Saint Nicholas continued baking this bread and while praying to Mary would distribute it to the poor. To this day, Augustinian monks still distribute this type of bread to the poor, calling it Saint Nicholas bread.


Famous for his many wonders and charitable acts, Saint Nicholas would always tell those he helped:


"Say Nothing of this, I am just God's instrument"

Another time, while laying in bed he had a vision of a fellow Friar who had recently died. In the vision, he spoke to Saint Nicholas, telling him that he was in purgatory and urged him to celebrate the Eucharist so that they could be set free by Christ. For seven days, Saint Nicholas did and on the final night, the friar again came in a vision thanking him for all the souls that were now in heaven.


There are also many other miracles and legends attributed to Saint Nicholas:

The Doge of Venice saved the palace from burning down by throwing a blessed piece of Saint Nicholas bread on the flames

Spanish settlers in Bolivia lost their children in childbirth or shortly after, but once a settler dedicated his son to Saint Nicholas, the child was able to live to adulthood. Today this day, Nicolas is a common first name in the region.

When served a foul for a dinner meal (Saint Nicholas was vegetarian) he made the sign of the cross over the foul and it suddenly became alive and flew through a window.


In his age, he became severely ill and died on September 10th, 1305. Pope Eugene IV canonized Saint Nicholas on June 5th 1446 as the very first Augustinian to be canonized. Pope Eugene IV recognized over three hundred miracles.



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