- Bernardine of Siena, Saint
born Sept. 8, 1380, Massa Marittima, Sienadied May 20, 1444, L'Aquila, Kingdom of the Two Sicilies; canonized 1450; feast day May 20Franciscan priest and theologian.Born into a noble family but orphaned early, he entered the Observants (1402), a strict branch of the Franciscan order that he later helped to spread throughout Europe. In 1417 he began preaching tours in Italy, seeking to combat the lawlessness, strife, and immorality resulting from the Western Schism. Through the Council of Florence he worked to unite the Greek and Roman churches. Numerous miracles are said to have occurred at his tomb.
* * *▪ Italian theologianItalian San Bernardino Da Sienaborn Sept. 8, 1380, Massa Marittima, Siena [Italy]died May 20, 1444, L'Aquila, Kingdom of the Two Sicilies; canonized 1450; feast day May 20Franciscan theologian and preacher of great eloquence who, with Saints John of Capistrano and James of the March, led the growth of the Observants, a strict branch of the Franciscan order that subsequently spread throughout Europe.Of noble birth, Bernardine was orphaned early. He completed his education in Siena, where he then served the sick in hospitals (1400), contracting and nearly dying of plague. In 1402 he entered the Observants.Bernardine became a priest in 1404 but did not begin his renowned preaching tours through Italy until 1417. Appalled by the breakdown in morals, the lawlessness, and the civil strife that resulted from the Great Western Schism, he strove to restore morals by inculcating a deep personal love of Jesus Christ.He took part in the Council of Florence in 1439, furthering the short-lived union of the Greek church with Rome. The centre of his movement was Il Gesù, a small chapel in Rome, which was later given to St. Ignatius of Loyola. Numerous miracles are said to have occurred at his tomb.
* * *