May 20: The feast of *Saint Bernadine of Siena*
Today, May 20, we celebrate the feast day of *Saint Bernadine of Siena* (1380-1444), referred to as the “Apostle of Italy,” “the Star of Tuscany,” and “the Second Paul” for his efforts to revive the country’s Catholic faith during the 15th century. His preaching was frequently directed against gambling, witchcraft, sodomy.
Bernadine excelled at school, demonstrating both intelligence and diligence, holiness and piety, and was well-liked and popular.
When he was 20, the plague was at its height in his hometown he offered to run the hospital and, with the help of other young men, nursed patients there for four months.
At 22, he entered the Franciscan Order and was ordained two years later. For almost a dozen years he lived in solitude and prayer, but his gifts ultimately caused him to be sent to preach. He always travelled on foot, sometimes speaking for hours in one place, then doing the same in another town. The Adorable Name of Jesus was the usual theme of his sermons.
St. Bernardine was a preacher of inspired eloquence. He has been called the Doctor of the Heart of Mary due to his writings on Mary’s heart. Numerous miraculous occurrences were reported in his presence.
He obtained miraculous conversions and reformed the greater part of Italy by his burning words and by the power of the Holy Name of Jesus. Saint Bernardine was appointed Vicar General of his Order in 1438, an office he held for five years. After five years, he began preaching again until, worn out from his missionary labors, he died on the Eve of the Ascension.
The miracles reported at his tomb encouraged Pope Nicholas V to canonize him only six years later.
*St. Bernadine of Siena, pray for us*
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