Friday, May 20, 2011

Hail, Saintly Friar

Today is the feast of St. Bernardine of Siena (1380 AD - 1444 AD), Franciscan friar, preacher and "Apostle of Italy."  St. Bernardine was tried for heresy, partly for promoting devotion to the Holy Name of Jesus, but successfully defended himself against the charge, and indeed was fully vindicated when the Feast of the Holy Name of Jesus was added to the general calendar in 1722.  Siena College in Albany, NY was originally named for St. Bernardine of Siena, but the name was subsequently shortened.  St. Bernardine's full story, courtesy of New Advent, here.

From a sermon given by St. Bernardine of Siena:

When a fire is lit to clear a field, it burns off all the dry and useless weeds and thorns. When the sun rises and darkness is dispelled, robbers, night-prowlers and burglars hide away. So when Paul’s voice was raised to preach the Gospel to the nations, like a great clap of thunder in the sky, his preaching was a blazing fire carrying all before it. It was the sun rising in full glory. Infidelity was consumed by it, false beliefs fled away, and the truth appeared like a great candle lighting the whole world with its brilliant flame.

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