Saints of the Society of Jesus: Blessed Bernardino Realino

3 July

The Blessed Bernardine Realino, like so many saints, received his first lessons in piety from a good mother. Nevertheless, he did not enter the Society of Jesus before the age of thirty-three, after having had a distinguished career as a lawyer. At the age of forty-four he was sent to the town of Lecce, in the southeastern corner, perhaps the most out-of-the-way place, of the Kingdom of Naples. Here he was destined to spend the rest of his life, from the year 1574 to 1616, a period of forty-two years; and here, in this obscurity, during this long time, did he shine as a living light of sanctity and labor, in a manner not un-similar to that, in our recent times, of the parish priest of the obscure French village of Ars. In fact the veneration of the people of the place for this holy man became finally so great that, a year before his death, a deputation of the civil authorities called on him solemnly and obliged him to accept, while yet alive, the office of their patron in that heaven to which they knew that he was soon to be transferred. He was beatified January 12, 1896.