Franciscan Saints


 

 

 

 15th April

 

 

The Servant of God Nicholas Wiggers

 

Confessor, First Order

 

Fr. Nicholas Wiggers was born in Holland in 1555 and as a priest there had made many sacrifices when that country fell away from the Catholic Faith under the power of Calvinism. Nicholas and other priests placed their lives in danger by travelling around the country encouraging those Catholics who had remained true to their faith. Nicholas used to assemble the Faithful in secret places in order to administer the Sacraments to them and to encourage them in their Faith.

 

Nicholas used his own wealth to provide for the poor Catholics and their Religious needs. He was often pursued by the police but escaped from them, often as though through a miracle.

In 1602 after a pilgrimage to Rome Fr. Nicholas returned via Cologne to visit the Shrine of the Three Magi and to commend to them his further ministry in Holland. Fr. Nicholas wanted to know God’s will for his future since he felt drawn to the life of a Friar Minor. In fact Nicholas pleaded for the habit of a Franciscan at the Franciscan Friary of “The olives” and obtained his wish on the feast of Saint Michael in 1603. Fr. Nicholas was now forty-eight years old.

Nicholas who was appointed as a Preacher was a model for the Novices in exercises of austerity and was later appointed Novice Master, then Guardian at Cologne. He was respected by people at every level of society especially by some of the distinguished Academics at Cologne University, some of whom joined the Brotherhood of the Blessed Sacrament which he founded.

Nicholas was elected four times to the Office of Provincial and while serving in this capacity strove to lead the cloistral life of his vocation as perfectly as possible. The Holy See set Nicholas the task of reforming other Convents which was not easily done being wrongfully accused of something, we are not told, and Nicholas had to be removed from Cologne for a whole year until the charges against him were disproved. When he returned there the whole city welcomed him back.

While in exile Nicholas discovered that he was happier than when he worked among people and often devoted whole nights to prayer sometimes in ecstasy surrounded by a bright light. When this happened he is said to have called out as St. Francis did in his own time: “My God and my all, who art though and who am I?” Many sick people were healed through his prayers.

Tried by severe illness, and steadfast in patience Fr Nicholas departed this life on May 25th 1628. His tomb, splendidly hewn from stone was embellished by the Catholics of Holland and his labours and sacrifices were always remembered by all who visited his tomb.

Objects that he had used were venerated like the relics of saints and several sick people recovered after contact with theses objects.

 

 

 

Prayer of the Church

 

Almighty King, equip Thy combatants with persevering

strength , so that those who on the way of this mortal life are made

joyful over the crpwn of Thy incarnate Son, may complete their

course and obtain the victor's prize of a blessed immortality.

Through the same Christ Our Lord Who liveth and reigneth
with Thee and the Holy Spirit,  One God, now and forever.  Amen

 

 

Adapted from: Habig, Marion A., O.F.M., 1959, ed., The Franciscan book of Saints, Franciscan Herald press, Chicago, Illinois

 

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Last edited 13/09/2017 15:45 
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