St. Nicholas of Tolentino
from the Liturgical Year, 1908
Today the Infant Mary smiles upon the lily offered her in her cradle by the representative of a great Order. The Hermits of St. Augustine were being grouped and organized by the Vicar of Christ, when Nicholas was admitted into their family, of which he was soon to become the thaumaturgus. When he died, in 1305, the Roman Pontiffs were beginning their exile at Avignon; and his canonization, deferred for nearly a century and a half through the troubles of the period, marked the close of the lamentable dissensions which followed that exile. Peace so long lost; peace, of which even the wisest despaired--such was the ardent prayer, the solemn adjuration of Eugenius IV, when, towards the close of his laborious pontificate, he committed the cause of the Church to the humble servant of God placed by him upon her Altars. According to the testimony of Sixtus V, the obtaining of this peace was the greatest of Nicholas' miracles; a miracle which moved the latter Pontiff to order the celebration of the Saint's feast as a double, at a time when days of that rank were much rarer on the Calendar than now.
Good and faithful servant, thou hast entered into the joy of thy Lord. He has broken thy bonds; and from heaven, where thou art now reigning, thou repeated to us those words which determined the sanctity of thy life on earth: Love not the world, nor the things which are in the world. For the world passeth away, and the concupiscence thereof. How much a man thus forgetful of earth, can do for his fellowmen, is evinced by the gift thou didst receive of solacing all the miseries around thee, and succoring the souls in Purgatory. The successor of St. Peter was not deceived, when, in ranking thee among the Saints, he counted on thy power in heaven to bring back society from its long-continued state of disturbance to the paths of peace. May that word of the beloved disciple, which thou hast just echoed to us, sink into our souls as a seed of salvation, and there yield the fruits that it produced in thee:-- detachment from all temporal things and a longing for eternal realities; that humble simplicity of the soul's eye which makes life a peaceful journey towards God; and lastly, that purity, which made thee the friend of Angels and the favorite of Mary.