Friday, January 8, 2010

St. Nicholas of Tolentino: Patron of Souls in Purgatory the year 1270 he was ordained a priest.

Shortly after his ordination, he had a vivid dream in which a deceased fellow Augustinian appeared to him and begged his help: “I am suffering in these flames, by which the good God, accepting my repentance, is mercifully purifying me. I beg you to celebrate a Mass of the Dead for me, so that I may be freed from my torments”.

Fr. Nicholas spent the night in prayer and next day he asked the Prior for permission to offer his Mass for a week on behalf of the suffering souls in Purgatory. He did so and soon afterwards the same priest appeared to him again and assured him that he and many other souls had been freed from Purgatory.

This incident convinced Nicholas of the need to pray incessantly for the souls in Purgatory, and to offer the sacrifice of the Mass for this purpose. It remained the outstanding characteristic of his spirituality. In 1275 he was appointed to the community in Tolentine and he remained there until his death on Sept. 10th, 1305.

He was much sought after as a confessor and spiritual director but it was as an advocate for the souls in Purgatory that he is now remembered, and is invoked as their patron. He was the first Augustinian to be canonised as a saint , in 1446, and 700 years after his death his remains are still venerated in the basilica dedicated in his honour in Tolentine. To very many he is revered as the Patron of the Holy Souls.
~ Information found here. ~

O, glorious St. Nicholas of Tolentino,
in whose prayers the suffering souls had such faith
that they revealed to you their pains in Purgatory,
and implored you to offer the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass
that the flames might be quenched
by the Precious Blood of Our Lord, Jesus Christ,
O glory of the Augustinian Order of the Church,
we beseech you to pray for us and for the suffering souls,
that they may be speedily delivered from the pains which their sins deserve,
and that we may one day rejoice with you and with them in Heaven. Amen.

~ From an old prayer leaflet ~

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