St. Nicholas of Tolentino
Died: September 10, 1305
Canonized: 1446, by Pope Eugene IV
Feast Day: September 10
Patron Saint of: mariners, souls in Purgatory
Nicholas was born in Sant' Angelo in Pontano. His piousness so impressed the Bishop of Fermo that he permitted Nicholas to join the minor orders as young boy. After he was ordained a priest, Nicholas entered the monastery at Tolentino where he was very active in administering the sacraments to the local community. He quickly won over the trust and love of the locals; he was often called upon to pray for the deceased loved ones and was affectionately referred to as the "Patron of Holy Souls". It was reported that when he was very ill and was not responding to treatment, he was blessed with a vision of the Blessed Virgin Mary who told him to eat a small piece of bread that was dipped in water... after doing so, he was miracously healed. Nicholas repeated these steps throughout the community to help the sick, resulting in numerous miracles of healing. Today, Saint Nicholas Breads are still distributed at the shrine of this saint.