Roman Catholics will commemorate Friday, May 20, the life and works of Saint Bernardine (San Bernardino) of Siena, the foremost Italian missionary of the 15th century and one of the most widely venerated saints of the Catholic Church.
Libmanan Bishop Jose R. Rojas, Jr. will preside over a concelebrated high mass on Friday at 8 a.m. at the St. Bernardine of Siena Parish in Cabusao, Camarines Sur. Holy masses will also be offered at 5 a.m. and at 10 a.m. (with Baptism). A mass confirmation will be held at 9 a.m. The ringing of church bells will be held at 4:30 a.m. Novena masses were held from May 11 to 19.
Popularly known as the Apostle of the Holy Name of Jesus, St. Bernardine was considered as the greatest and most influential preacher of his day. The revered Italian saint led a missionary life of one whom Pope Pius II called “a second Paul” because many listened to him and were convinced of his teachings and sermons in the same way during the time of St. Paul.
He was also known as the Apostle of Italy because of his efforts to revive the Catholic faith in Italy during the 15th century.
St. Bernardine said, “The name of preachers is the glory of the preachers.” At the end of every sermon, he blesses the crowd while raising a tablet inscribed with the letters “J.H.S.” which stands for “Jesus Hominum Salvator” or “Jesus Man’s Savior.”
Born in Siena, Italy on September 8,1380, he joined the Franciscans of the Strict Observance in 1403 and was ordained priest in 1404. In 1430, as the Vicar General of the Observant Franciscans, he included the study of Theology and the Canon of Law in the regular formation of priests. He died in 1444 and was canonized on May 24, 1450.