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St. Nicholas of Tolentino
Born at Sant' Angelo, near Fermo, in the March of Ancona, about 1246; d. 10 September, 1306. He is depicted in the black habit of the Hermits of St. Augustine — a star above him or on his breast, a lily, or a crucifix garlanded with lilies, in his hand. Sometimes, instead of the lily, he holds a vial filled with money or bread. His parents, said to have been called Compagnonus de Guarutti and Amata de Guidiani (these surnames may merely indicate their birth-places), were pious folk, perhaps gentle born, living content with a small substance. Nicholas was born in response to prayers, his mother a model of holiness. He excelled so much in his studies that even before they were over he was made a canon of St. Saviour's church; but hearing a sermon by a hermit of St. Augustine upon the text: "Nolite diligere mundum, nec ea quae sunt in mundo, quia mundus transit et concupiscentia ejus", he felt a call to embrace the religious life. He besought the hermit for admittance into his order. His parents gave a joyful consent. Even before his ordination he was sent to different monasteries of his order, at Recanati, Macerata etc., as a model of generous striving after perfection. He made his profession before he was nineteen. After his ordination he preached with wonderful success, notably at Tolentino, where he spent his last thirty years and gave a discourse nearly every day. Towards the end diseases tried his patience, but he kept up his mortifications almost to the hour of death. He possessed an angelic meekness, a guileless simplicity, and a tender love of virginity, which he never stained, guarding it by prayer and extraordinary mortifications. He was canonized by Eugene IV in 1446; his feast is celebrated on 10 September. His tomb, at Tolentino, is held in veneration by the faithful.
Acta SS., Sept. III, 636; BUTLER, Lives of the Saints, III (Baltimore), 440; HAGELE in Kirchenlex., s.v.
Edward F. Garesche.