Wednesday, January 25, 2012

St. Bernardine of Siena, St. Paul, and the Holy Name of Jesus

St. Bernardine of Siena
January is the month devoted to the Holy Name of Jesus, and today is the Feast of the Conversion of St. Paul, Disciple.  St. Bernardine of Siena (1380 AD - 1444 AD) preached often on the Holy Name of Jesus, and the following excerpt from a sermon of St. Bernardine, in which he praises St. Paul as a great exemplar of devotion to the Holy Name of Jesus, seems especially apt for today's feast:

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.

By word of mouth, by letters, by miracles, and by the example of his own life, Saint Paul bore the Name of Jesus wherever he went. He praised the Name of Jesus "at all times," but never more than when "bearing witness to his faith."

Moreover, the Apostle did indeed carry this Name "before the Gentiles and kings and the sons of Israel" as a light to enlighten all nations. And this was his cry wherever he journeyed: "The night is passing away, the day is at hand. Let us then cast off the works of darkness and put on the armor of light; let us conduct ourselves honorably as in the day." Paul himself showed forth the burning and shining-light set upon a candlestick, everywhere proclaiming "Jesus, and Him crucified."

And so the Church, the Bride of Christ strengthened by his testimony, rejoices with the psalmist, singing: "O God from my youth you have taught me, and I still proclaim your wondrous deeds." The psalmist exhorts her to do this, as he says: "Sing to the Lord, and bless His Name, proclaim His salvation day after day." And this salvation is Jesus, Her savior.

St. Bernardine of Siena, pray for us.


  1. Please pray for my daughter on May 20 that everything will work out for her when she goes to court.