Nicholas was born in 1245 in Sant'Angelo in Pontano (in The Marche region, central Italy) in a devout and humble family. His parents, Compagnone de Guarutti and Amata de Guidiani, had been childless into middle age. The legend tells that his parents traveled to Bari in southern Italy in pilgrimage to the tomb of St. Nicholas of Myra, and prayed at his shrine asking for the grace of a child. Coming back home, Amata got pregnant and gave birth to a son, who was baptized with the name of Nicholas, in honour of the Saint of Myra.The boy grew in a pious family and excelled in his studies, so that even before completing the course, he was already made canonic. By listening to a sermon of an Augustinian hermit quoting the Latin phrase “Nolite diligere Mundum, nec quae sunt in mundo, et quia transit mundus ejus concupiscence" ("do not love the world nor the things that belong to the world because the world is passing away, and loses its lust"), Nicholas felt the vocation for a religious life. So he asked the Augustianian to be admitted in the order and was accepted with joy, with the approval of his parents. He was sent to various monasteries of the order in San Ginesio, Recanati, Macerata, before making solemn vows when he was nineteen years old.
In 1271 Nicholas was ordained priest and devoted himself to preaching. The contact with common people made him very popular. He was admired for his great faith through prayers, piety and penitence, and became especially popular for his attention and support of poor and ill people.
In 1275 Nicholas was transferred to the convent of St. Augustine of Tolentino, where remained until the end of his days in 1305. After his death, the convent changed its dedication from St. Augustine to St. Nicholas.
The process of canonization (1325) was started only several years after his death due to he great popular devotion, and his tomb in the Basilica of Tolentino was decorated with a series of the beautiful frescoes. During an attempt to steal the arms of the Saint as relics, these began to flow fresh blood, so the attempt failed. The relics were known to exude blood whenever the Church was in danger.
Many miracles were attributed to Nicholas' intercession, and over 300 miracles were credited him by the Catholic Church Congregation during the canonization process, including three resurrections. Nicholas was proclaimed Saint by Pope Eugene IV on Pentecost day in year 1446, being the first member of the Augustinian Order to be canonized.
St Nicholas of Tolentino is the Patron Saint of Souls in Purgatory, animals, babies, boatmen, dying people, sick animals, mariners, sailors, watermen, and of the Philippines. He is also considered the patron saint against epidemic disease and against fires.