Nicholas, (St) of Tolentino
Nicholas, (St.) Of Tolentino, a Roman Catholic ascetic of the 13th century, whose personal history is enshrouded by mythical cobweb, was born in the little town of St. Angelo, near Fermo, in 1239. His parents the legend goes, had prayed earnestly to St. Nicholas for a son, and as they believed that this son was given them through the intercession of this saint, they named him Nicholas, and dedicated him to the service of the Church. At an early age he took the habit of an Augustine friar, and so great was the austerity of his life that it has been said that "he did not live, but languished through life." He was successful as a preacher, and his miracles and visions are numberless. He never allowed himself to taste animal food, and when he was very weak he refused a dish of doves that his brethren brought him, and waved his hand above the dish, when the doves arose and flew away. St. Nicholas of Tolentino died Sept. 10,1309. Tradition teaches that at the 'hour of his birth a brilliant star shot through the heavens from St. Angelo, where he was born, and rested over the city of Tolentino, where he afterwards lived. In the year 1302 a plague visited the city of Cordova, and according to legend the governor caused the image of St. Nicholas of Tolentino to be carried through the streets of the city in solemn procession on the day which was observed as the festival of that saint. Father G. de Navas, bearing a crucifix, met the procession, when the figure of Christ stooped from the cross and embraced that of St. Nicholas, and immediately the plague was stayed. He is also represented in art as restoring a child to life, and doing many other miracles. He is painted in the black habit of his order, with a star on his breast; he often bears a crucifix wreathed with lilies, typical of the purity and austerity of his life. Several of these are characteristic also of the representations of Nicholas of Myra (q.v.), with whom this Nicholas appears to have become partially confounded. See Clement, Hand-book of Legendary and Mythological Art, s.v.