St. Bernardine of Siena


Feast Day - May 20

St. Bernardine Albizeschi was born of a noble Sienese family. Even in his first years in school, he turned away from childrenÂ’s games and applied himself to exercises of devotion, especially those honoring the Blessed Virgin. Outstanding for his charity and mercy to the poor, he gave himself over to serving them at the hospital Santa Maria della Scala in Siena.

When he came to think of entering the religious life, divine Providence led him to choose, in preference to others, the Franciscan Order, where he excelled in humility, patience and the other virtues of a religious. His superiors imposed on him the duty of preaching; and, although he knew that his voice was too weak and too hoarse for a preacherÂ’s, he accepted the charge and implored the help of God. As a result, he was marvellously freed of his handicap. Going about the towns and villages in the name of Jesus, which was always carried on his lips and in his heart, he everywhere put an end to the dissensions of the citizens, and by his word and example did much to restore their piety and morality, which had fallen to a low level. He also wrote devout and learned books. At the age of sixty-six, rich in merit and famous for his miracles, he died a happy death at the town of Aquila in the Abruzzi.

Taken from The Hours of the Divine Office in English and Latin, Vol. II: Passion Sunday to August (Collegeville, Minnesota: The Liturgical Press, 1963), pp. 1818-1819.