A Carthusian Monk and Cardinal of the Roman Church, Nicholas Albergati was a great friend to the Augustinians and appointed their Cardinal Protector by Pope Eugene IV.
Blessed Nicholas was born in Bologna, Italy. His family could afford to send him to the university where he began to study law. But then after a few years, he decided not to become a lawyer. At the age of twenty, Nicholas joined the Carthusian order, and in 1417, this Carthusian monk was chosen to be bishop of his native diocese. He had not counted on that at all. He could not even believe it could be God’s will. But his superiors assured him it was.
The people loved the simplicity, sincerity and steadfastness of their shepherd. As Bishop, Blessed Nicholas chose to live, not in a palace, but in a small, plain house. He was like them. He began a pastoral visitation the people of his diocese, going to the poorest families first. He talked with them and helped them with their needs. He blessed their homes. The people were very grateful.
Blessed Nicholas was created a cardinal in 1426. He was known to be wise and spiritual. Two popes, Martin V and Eugene IV, consulted him about important Church matters. Blessed Nicholas also encouraged learning. In fact, he wrote several books himself.
Among the duties given to him, which he so seriously sought to fulfill, was to be the Cardinal protector of the Augustinians. During his protectorate, great peace and spiritual growth occurred among the “hermits” of Saint Augustine. He died while on a visit to an Augustinian Monastery near Siena, he was overtaken by an attack of kidney stones, and died, surrounded by the Augustinian monks he protected as their father. Pope Eugene IV had his body brought back to Bologna; where he was buried with Solemn Rites. The pope himself participated in the funeral Mass and burial. Blessed Nicholas died in 1443, and is honored by the Augustinian Family on May 10th.