Born to a wealthy and pious family, Bernard was well educated, but spent a wild and dissolute youth. During one of his revels he received a leg wound in a duel. His recovery gave him time to think, and the young man realized that he was headed in the wrong direction. As he was healed, Bernard renewed his life in the Church and then joined the Dominicans in Catania in 1452. Noted for his charitable works, his life of repentance for his earlier ways, his strict adherence to the rules of his Order, and his devotion to contemplation of Christ’s Passion, which would sometimes send him into ecstacies. Founded a hospital for the poor. A gifted preacher, he preferred to spend his time in the confessional and working as a spiritual director. Had the gift of prophecy, and used it to warn people to change their lives; prophesied the date of his own death.
Legend says that when Bernard walked in the gardens of his monastery, birds would come down to sing to him, but would stop when he went into prayer. Once when a porter was sent to Bernard’s room to fetch him, the man saw a bright light shining under the door, and when he peeked in he saw a beautiful child who was shining with light and holding a book from which Bernard was reading.
- 11 January 1487 of natural causes
- fifteen years after his death he appeared in a vision to the prior in Catania and asked that his remains be moved to the house’s rosary chapel
- during this movement a man was cured of paralysis by touching the relics
- “Blessed Bernard Scammacca“. CatholicSaints.Info. 11 February 2016. Web. 27 July 2016. <>