Saints and Saintly Dominicans – 21 May

detail from 'Saint Bernardino' by El Greco, 1603, oil on canvas, Museo del Greco, Toledo, SpainSaint Bernardine of Siena

Saint Bernardine possessed a singular devotion to Mary. Through her protection he preserved, in spite of his handsome figure and graceful manners, so perfect a chastity that no one dared to say before him one word of doubtful propriety. “Silence,” wild young men would say to one another “Here comes Bernardine.” He entered the Order of Saint Francis; his feeble and husky voice was unsuitable for preaching, but in answer to prayer this obstacle was removed. Saint Bernardine was most active in reconciling those who were at variance and was especially the apostle of the holy name of Jesus, which he bore engraved on his heart. He also gave the title of Saint Mary of Jesus to several convents which he founded in order to propagate strict observance, chiefly in the matter of poverty. Saint Vincent Ferrer, preaching at Alexandria, said publicly of him: “There is one in this audience who will be a shining light in the Order of Saint Francis in Italy and he will be canonised before me.” His works are remarkable for doctrine and for the unction of piety. Their chief subjects are prayer, the love of God, the imitation of the life of Jesus Christ and meditation on the end of all things. (1444)

Prayer

O Jesus be Thou my Hope!

Practice

If improper conversations are held in your presence, show by your manner how much you are displeased and make an act of reparation to Our Lord in your heart.