+ Nicholas (who is sometimes known as Nicholas of Trani) was born in Steiri, Boeotia, Greece. A shepherd in his youth, he developed a contemplative spirit, using the phrase Kyrie Eleison (“Lord, have mercy”) as a sort of mantra (much like the “Jesus Prayer” in the Hesychastic tradition of Eastern Christianity).
+ Because of his piety and repeated use of Kyrie Eleison, he was mercilessly teased by others in his village and the surrounding area; at times the teasing turned into outright oppression.
+ Nicholas left his home on pilgrimage, making his way to Apulia region of Italy.
+ Noted for his piety and holiness, he died in Trani, Italy, on June 2, 1094. He was canonized in 1098 and the cathedral of Trani is dedicated to him.
For prayer and reflection
I south the Lord, and he answered me,
delivered me from all my fears.
Look to him and be radiant,
and your faces may not blush for shame.
This poor one cried out and the Lord heard,
and from all his distress he saved him.—Psalm 34:5-7
On this day, the Church also remembers the priest Marcellinus and the exorcist Peter. These two men were honored in the forest known as Silva Negra outside of Rome in 304. Their names are included in the Roman Canon (the First Eucharistic Prayer).
O God, who alone are holy and without whom no one is good, command, we pray, through the intercession of blessed Nicholas, that we be numbered among those who do not deserve to be deprived of your glory. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God, for ever and ever. Amen.
(from The Roman Missal: Common of Holy Men and Women—For One Saint)
Saint profiles prepared by Brother Silas Henderson, S.D.S.