Saint Bernardino of Siena

September 8, 1380 (Siena) - May 20, 1444 (L'Aquila)


Feast day: May 20

The Franciscan Bernardino of Siena, OFM, (sometimes Bernardine) was an Italian priest, missionary, and is a Catholic saint.

Left an orphan at six Bernardine was brought up with great care by his pious aunts. His youth was blameless and engaging. In 1397 after a course of civil and canon law, he joined the Confraternity of Our Lady attached to the great hospital of Santa Maria della Scala.

Three years later, when the pestilence revisited Siena, he came forth from the life of seclusion and prayer he had embraced, to minister to the plague-stricken, and, assisted by ten companions, took upon himself for four months entire charge of this hospital.

He was the greatest preacher of his time, journeying across Italy, calming strife-torn cities, attacking the paganism he found rampant, attracting crowds of 30,000, following Saint Francis of Assisi’s admonition to preach about “vice and virtue, punishment and glory.”

Saint Bernardine is known as “the Apostle of Italy” for his efforts to revive the country's Catholic faith during the 15th century.

Some treat Mary as a heavenly being who became human in order to give flesh to the Son of God. Others claim that she co-created the world with God or view it as completing the Holy Trinity. Saint Bernardine of Siena does not hesitate to emphasize that Mary is in some ways superior to God!

Siena Collage is a Franciscan Catholic liberal arts college named in his honor. St. Bernardino remains are in the Basilica of San Bernardino in L’Aquila, Italy. The Church was built just after St. Bernardino’s death and was declared a Minor Basilica in 1946.

The saint brought peace to the city in dispute , reconciling families and factions , causing conversions glaring and huge crowds went to hear him . From 1430 he devoted himself to the composition of theological treatises.

Appointed vicar general of his order, was commissioned by the secular authorities of important diplomatic missions. Then he resumed his apostolic journeys but died from the strain crashed near L' Aquila. Many miracles occurred around his body exposed for three days. The saint is a Doctor of the Church.

Bernardine was canonized May 24, 1450 in Rome by Pope Nicholas V.

Saint Bernardino is the Patron Saint of Capri, Italy and also of advertising and communications.