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St. Bernardine of Siena

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Saint Bernardine of Siena


Bernardine was born in Siena to a noble Italian family in the year of Our Lord 1380. He lost his parents when he was still very young, but a pious aunt raised him well, and he grew up devoted to prayer and fasting, especially in honor of the Blessed Mother. Though his handsome features exposed him to dangers in his youth, he maintained perfect chastity. At seventeen he began to serve the sick in a local hospital; a few years later, after a brief but serious illness, he discerned a vocation to the Franciscans. Though Bernardine had a weak, hoarse voice, his superiors ordered him to preach because of his great wisdom, and his speech impediment was miraculously cured. He proceeded to set Italy on fire with his eloquence, fulfilling a prophecy by St. Vincent Ferrer. In every city he visited, the people kindled bonfires of the vanities, to burn items related to vice. Bernardine became the great promoter of devotion to the Holy Name of Jesus, especially with the use of the IHS monogram. He refused several attempts to make him a bishop, though he served for a few years as vicar-general of his order before his holy death in the year of Our Lord 1444.


Traditional Roman Martyrology for May 20th

AT Aquila, in Abruzzo, St. Bernardine of Siena, of the Order of Minorites, who ennobled Italy by his preaching and example.

At Rome, on the Salarian road, the birthday of St. Basilla, virgin, who was of royal race and betrothed to an illustrious personage. As she refused to marry him, he accused her of being a Christian. The emperor Gallienus gave orders that she should accept him or die by the sword. Answering that she had for her spouse the King of kings, she was transpierced with a sword.

At Nimes, in France, St. Baudelius, martyr. Being arrested, but refusing to sacrifice to idols, and remaining immovable in the faith of Christ, notwithstanding blows and tortures, he gained the palm of martyrdom by a precious death.

At Edessa, in Syria, the holy martyrs Thalalaeus, Asterius, Alexander, and their companions, who suffered under the emperor Numerian.

In Thebais, St. Aquila, martyr to the faith, whose body was torn with iron combs.

At Bourges, in France, St. Austregisil, bishop and confessor.

At Brescia, St. Anastasius, bishop.

At Pavia, St. Theodore, bishop.

At Rome, St. Plautilla, wife of an ex-consul and mother of the blessed Flavia Domitilla. She was baptized by the apostle St. Peter, and after giving the example of all virtues, rested in peace.

℣. And elsewhere many other holy martyrs, confessors, and holy virgins.

℟. Thanks be to God.

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