Tuesday, May 20, 2014

St. Bernardine of Siena

The saint of the day for May 20th is St. Bernardine of Siena. A Franciscan friar and preacher, St. Bernardine is known as “the Apostle of Italy” for his efforts to revive the country's Catholic faith during the 15th century.

St. Bernardine was born in 1380 in Tuscany. His parents died when he was seven years old and he was taken in by relatives who raised him as if he were their own.

As a youth, he possessed a strong love for the Blessed Virgin Mary and spoke to her as a child speaks to his mother. She kept him chaste and pure. He had a special devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary and later wrote that the Immaculate Heart of Mary was "a fiery furnace of Holy Love."

While still a student at the University of Siena, he took charge of the hospital there when an epidemic killed most of the staff. Later he looked after a bedridden aunt until her death.

At the age of 22, he became a Franciscan. He was an energetic and popular preacher who spent years travelling on foot throughout Italy preaching to huge audiences. As a priest, he promoted peace among the warring Italian cities, and worked hard for the reform of the Franciscan order and for church unity. He encouraged devotion to the Holy Name of Jesus and is known for his use of the monogram IHS. Bernadine died on May 20, 1444, at the age of sixty-four in Aquila, Italy.

Bernadine was declared a saint in 1450, by Pope Nicholas V.

Patron: advertisers; advertising; against hoarseness; communications; compulsive or uncontrolled gambling; gambling addicts; lungs; public relations; chest, respiratory, or lung problems; Aquila, Italy; diocese of San Bernardino, California; Italy

Quote: "Jesus, Name full of glory, grace, love and strength! You are the refuge of those who repent, our banner of warfare in this life, the medicine of souls, the comfort of those who morn, the delight of those who believe, the light of those who preach the true faith, the wages of those who toil, the healing of the sick. To You our devotion aspires; by You our prayers are received; we delight in contemplating You. O Name of Jesus, You are the glory of all the saints for eternity. Amen."

~ St. Bernardine of Siena

Prayer: Saint Bernardine of Siena, words were very important to you. You spent most of your life speaking the golden words of Jesus' mercy and his Holy Name. And you abhorred words that were shameful. Pray for us that we may always choose to speak Jesus' name with reverence and choose words of love over words of shame. Amen.

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