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September 10

St Nicolas of Tolentino - September 10

Saint Nicholas of Tolentino

Priest, Patron of Holy Souls

(1245 – 1305)

“The heavens are not pure in the sight of Him Whom I serve; how then shall I, a sinful man, stand before Him?

Saint Nicholas of Tolentino

Saint’s Life Story

His Early Life 

Nicholas was born in 1245 in Sant’Angelo, Italy. His middle-aged parents, Compagnonus de Guarutti and Amata de Guidiani, were childless until a prayerful visit to a shrine of Saint Nicholas of Myra at Bari, Italy. In gratitude, the couple named their son Nicholas. Nicholas was a studious, kind, and gentle youth. He showed early signs of piety. At age seven, Nicholas hid away in a nearby cave and prayed there like the hermits whom he had observed in the mountains. 

Life as a Augustinian Friar

Nicholas became an Augustinian novice at age eighteen. He was a student of the Blessed Angelus de Scarpetti. Nicholas studied at San Ginesio. He was ordained at Cingoli in 1270 at the age of 25. He served as the master of novices at Sant’ Elpidio. Nicholas labored as a confessor converting hardened sinners.  Nicholas started preaching and soon became famous for his eloquent teachings. 

Living in Tolentino, Italy

Nicholas had visions of angels reciting “to Tolentino” and took this as a sign to move to that city in 1274, where he lived the rest of his life. 

Tolentino was torn by civil war and Nicholas set about restoring peace and unity to the city by preaching in the streets, which converted many souls. His ministry was so effective that it was viewed as miraculous, but he was careful not to take credit for anything. He always told those he helped, “Say nothing of this. Give thanks to God, not to me. I am only a vessel of clay, a poor sinner.”

An Austere Life

Nicholas lived an austere life, often fasting and performing works of penance. He spent long hours in prayer. He had a strong devotion for the poor souls in Purgatory, praying for them often late into the night. As a priest and religious, he was full of charity towards his brother Augustinians.  Nicholas ministered to the poor, the sick, the criminals and to the needy. He had a reputation as a healer, but what people admired about him the most was his humility and obedience, his charity, his kindness and gentleness, as well as his good nature.

One day, when severely ill, he had a vision of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Saint Augustine of Hippo, and Saint Monica. They told him to eat a certain type of roll that had been marked with a cross and dipped in water. Cured, he began healing others by administering bread over which he recited Marian prayers. The rolls became known as Saint Nicholas Bread, and are still distributed at his shrine today.

On another occasion, Nicholas, who was a vegetarian, was served fowl for dinner. He made the sign of the cross over the bird, and it flew out a window.

His Death And Miracles

During the last years of his life Nicholas was bedridden and suffered greatly. He died in Tolentino, Italy on September 10, 1305, surrounded by his community.  

First Augustinian Canonized

He was the first Augustinian to be canonized. At his canonization, Nicholas was credited with three hundred miracles, including three resurrections.

His Many Miracles

At his canonization, Nicholas was credited with three hundred miracles, including three resurrections. One of his miracles was when nine passengers on a ship going down at sea once asked for the aid of Saint Nicholas. He appeared in the sky, wearing the black Augustinian habit, radiating golden light, holding a lily in his left hand; with his right hand he quelled the storm.

Another story relates that Nicholas, while asleep in bed, heard the voice of a deceased friar he had known. This friar told Nicholas that he was in Purgatory, and urged him to celebrate the Eucharist for him and other souls there, so that they would be set free by the power of Christ. Nicholas did so for seven days. The friar again spoke to Nicholas, thanking him and assuring him that a large number of souls were now with God. Because of this Nicholas was proclaimed patron of the souls in Purgatory.

How He Is Depicted

The remains of St. Nicholas are preserved at the Shrine of Saint Nicholas in the Basilica di San Nicola da Tolentino in the city of Tolentino. He is depicted in art wearing the black habit of the Order of the Hermits of St. Augustine with a star above him or on his breast, a lily, or a crucifix garlanded with lilies, in his hand.

Beatified:           Unknown

Canonized:        June 5, 1446 by Pope Eugene IV

Feast Day:         September 10

Patron Saint:    Babies; Dying People; Sailors; Sick Animals; Souls in Purgatory



Saint Nicholas of Tolentino, you were obedient and humble in your charitable works for the sick, the needy, the poor and the criminals. While we may not be as “saintly” as Saint Nicholas of Tolentino, we can take a daily saintly step by some small act of kindness to those around us – spouse, family, neighbors and coworkers. Look into your spouse’s eyes and tell him/her that you love them. Take time to play with your children and grandchildren. Buy a cookie and drop it off to your neighbor or coworker with a short a note.

What “saintly” act can you do today for someone that shows love and kindness?



Lord, God, of holiness and light, You do not allow any shadow of darkness or evil in Your sight, and so in Your mercy You grant to those who have left this world burdened with sin, a time of purification, applying to them the spiritual treasurers of Your Holy Church. Hear my prayer and through the merits of Christ, the Blessed Virgin, the saints and all Your faithful people, bring an end this time of waiting for our beloved dead, especially _______.

O God of infinite goodness, in Your providence You have chosen Saint Nicholas as a special intercessor on behalf of the departed. Hear also his fervant prayer for those I recommend through You through his intercession.

Saint Nicholas of Tolentino, pray for us and our departed. Amen.

Saint Links 

Angelus – Saint of the day: Nicholas of Tolentino

Anastpaul – Saint of the Day – 10 September – St Nicholas of Tolentino OSA (1245-1305)- Patron of Holy Souls – Rev. Alban Butler. Volume IX: September. The Lives of the Saints. 1866. September 10 St. Nicholas of Tolentino, Confessor

Catholic Culture  – St. Nicholas of Tolentino

Catholic Exchange – St. Nicholas of Tolentino

Catholic Fire – St. Nicholas of Tolentino

Catholic Ireland – Sep 10 – St Nicholas of Tolentino (1245-1305) Augustinian friar, patron of the souls in purgatory

Catholic News Agency – Why this saint is the patron of souls in purgatory

Catholic Online – St. Nicholas of Tolentino

CatholicSaints.Info – Saint Nicholas of Tolentino

Midwest Augustinians – Saint Nicholas of Tolentine

New AdventGaresché, E. (1911). St. Nicholas of Tolentino. In The Catholic Encyclopedia.

Novena Prayer – 

Saints, Feast, Family – St. Nicholas of Tolentino

Saint Peter’s Basilica Info – 53. St. Nicholas of Tolentino – The 140 Saints of the Colonnade

uCatholic– Saint Nicholas of Tolentino

Wikipedia – Nicholas of Tolentino

Video Link

Who Was St. Nicholas of Tolentino? – YouTube Video (Divine Mercy)

Meet St. Nicholas of Tolentino: The Patron Saint of Souls in Purgatory – YouTube Aleteia)