Saint Nicolas de Tolentino : L'Homme de Foi et de Miracles-RELICS

Saint Nicholas of Tolentino: The Man of Faith and Miracles

Saint Nicholas of Tolentino, born Nicolas Gurruti, is a Catholic saint venerated for his piety, charity and miracles. He was born on September 10, 1245 in Sant'Angelo in Pontano, in the Marche region of Italy, and died on September 10, 1305 in Tolentino. Nicholas is the first canonized saint of the Augustinian order and is particularly known for his devoted life, mystical visions and miraculous interventions.

Youth and Vocation

Nicolas was born into a humble and pious family. His parents, Compagnonus de Guarutti and Amata de Guidiani, were deeply religious. According to tradition, his birth was the fruit of their prayers to Saint Nicholas of Myre, patron saint of children, which explained the choice of his first name.

From an early age, Nicholas showed an inclination towards religious life. At age 14, he joined the Augustinian order after being inspired by a sermon on the Bible verse "Love not the world or the things of the world" (1 John 2:15). He continued his studies at the monastery of Sant'Angelo and was ordained priest around 1270.

Religious Life in Tolentino

After his ordination, Nicholas was sent to several monasteries before settling in Tolentino in 1274, where he remained until his death. He quickly became noted for his asceticism, his devotion and his help to the poor. Nicholas led a life of intense prayer, often accompanied by rigorous fasts and nightly vigils.

Miracles and Legends

Nicholas of Tolentino is particularly known for the numerous miracles attributed to him, both during his lifetime and after his death. Among the most famous:

  • Multiplication of Food : One of the legends says that in times of famine, Nicholas miraculously multiplied bread to feed the hungry. This story is at the origin of the “Saint Nicholas breads”, small breads blessed and distributed to the faithful on his feast day.

  • Miraculous Healings : Many stories report spectacular healings carried out by Nicolas. He is said to have treated sick people suffering from various ailments, including giving them holy water or laying his hands on them.

  • Mystical Visions : Nicholas is said to have had several visions of Christ, the Virgin Mary and various saints. One of his most famous visions is the one where he sees the souls in Purgatory, for whom he prayed and offered masses in order to deliver them from their suffering.

Canonization and Worship

Nicholas of Tolentino was canonized by Pope Eugene IV in 1446. His canonization was the result of a rigorous investigation into his miracles and holiness, conducted by the Church. His feast day is celebrated on September 10, the anniversary of his death.

His body, exhumed and found intact several years after his death, rests in the Basilica of Saint Nicholas in Tolentino, built in his honor. This basilica is an important place of pilgrimage, attracting worshipers from all over the world.

Iconography and Symbolism

Saint Nicholas of Tolentino is often represented in Augustine's black habit, holding a lily (symbol of purity) and a star on his chest (representing a mystical vision he would have had). Sometimes he is shown with loaves, in reference to the miracle of the multiplication of food.

Influence and Legacy

The legacy of Saint Nicholas of Tolentino is particularly marked in religious orders and communities that value the life of prayer and charity. His example of piety and dedication continues to inspire many faithful.

Additionally, the Augustinians played a key role in spreading his cult, establishing churches and shrines dedicated to Saint Nicholas throughout the world. He is also the patron saint of souls in Purgatory, sailors and fishermen, and his intercession is often invoked for protection against dangers and illnesses.


Saint Nicholas of Tolentino embodies the ideal of religious life through his dedication, his charity and his miracles. His life and work continue to resonate in the hearts of the faithful, testifying to the power of faith and prayer. As the first canonized saint of the Augustinian order, he holds a special place in Church history and remains a figure of devotion and inspiration for future generations.

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