Butler’s Lives of the Saints – Saint Bernard Ptolemy, Founder of the Olivetans

detail of a 15th century fresco of Saint Bernard Tolomei, Monte Oliveto Maggiore Abbey, Tuscany, Italy; swiped off Wikimedia CommonsArticle

He was born at Sienna in 1272. After giving the most illustrious proofs of his learning and virtue, he disposed of all his worldly substance to the poor, and retired into a frightful desert near Sienna, where he led a most austere life. Here, being joined by some pious companions, he founded the Congregation of our Lady of Mount Olivet in 1319, approved by the holy see. He died on the 20th of August, 1348, and is named in the Roman Martyrology.

MLA Citation

  • Father Alban Butler. “Saint Bernard Ptolemy, Founder of the Olivetans”. Lives of the Fathers, Martyrs, and Principal Saints, 1866. CatholicSaints.Info. 22 August 2016. Web. 21 February 2019. <>