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St Bernardine of Siena

Succeeded in having a special feast added to Church calendar

© Fr Lawrence Lew CC

Franciscan Priest: (1380-1444)

His life

+ Bernardine was born near Siena, Italy. Orphaned while still a child, he was raised by an aunt. When a plague devastated the region in 1400, Bernardine and some friends took over the local hospital after the regular staff had all died.

+ In 1402, Bernardine became a Franciscan friar and was ordained a priest two years later. Throughout his life he was known for his love of poverty and his commitment to study.

+ In 1417, Bernardine began a ministry of preaching that took him throughout Italy. A gifted preacher, he is especially honored for his devotion to the Most Holy Name of Jesus. His writings also touch on all aspects of Christian teaching, as well as the special role of Mary in the Christian life.

+ Bernardine was invited to become a bishop on three separate occasions. He refused each time out of humility.

+ Saint Bernardine of Siena died May 20, 1444, and was canonized in 1450.

Spiritual bonus

Through his promotion of devotion to the Holy Name of Jesus, Saint Bernardine succeeded in having a special feast introduced within the Church: The Commemoration of the Holy Name of Jesus (celebrated on January 3).  


“The name of Jesus is in fact the great foundation of the faith that turns people into children of God. The Catholic Faith indeed consists in the news of Jesus Christ as light of the soul, gate of life, and foundation of eternal salvation.”—Saint Bernardine of Siena


O God, who gave the Priest Saint Bernardine of Siena a great love for the holy Name of Jesus, grant through his merits and prayers, that we may ever be set aflame with the spirit of your love. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

(From The Roman Missal)


Saint profiles prepared by Brother Silas Henderson, S.D.S.

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