Saint Bernardino of Siena.PNG


St Bernadine of Sienna, OFM 



St Bernadine of Sienna came from a noble family, but was orphaned at the age of six. Through the gracious love and provision of  relatives, he received an excellent education completing a degree in canon law by the age of twenty-three.


For years he lived a quiet unremarkable life as a Franciscan Friar of the Strict Observance, until in 1417, a novice prophesied to him three times:


“Brother Bernadino,”, he exclaimed, “go to Lombardy where all await you.”


He went to Milan obediently on faith, unsure for a time exactly what he was supposed to do, until he began to preach. Then it became clear when thousands across northern and central Italy came to hear this friars rousing eloquence laced with humor, wisdom and truth– and they converted.


Imagine a humorous exhortation like this from the pulpit today:


A sinner who repents learns to be prudent. He is like an ass, that once he has fallen in a spot, afterwards looks much more carefully where he sets his foot.  For fear of punishment he takes care not to fall into those sins again.


Oh great idiot who keeps on sinning! Why don’t you consider what the ass teaches you about saving your soul?

The ass doesn’t fall again, but you always do.


If you would only turn to God with love, you would learn much about prudence.


And all God’s people said… Amen!


St Bernadine had a special devotion to the name of Jesus, ending every sermon by actually blessing the crowd with a placard marked,




the first three letters of the Greek name of Jesus. It is said, that so many people requested a copy it put a local business owner

–who made playing cards used in gambling– right out of business. Seems the placard company out manufactured him.


He refused several bishoprics, becoming instead the vicar general of the Franciscans inspiring many reforms and vocations.


He died in 1444 after delivering a series of fifty sermons in fifty days.


St Bernadine of Sienna, pray for us, that we may fear God and repent of our sins.

And may we devote ourselves in love to the Holy Name of Jesus.






  • link
  • Voices of the Saints, Bert Ghezzi
  • Living With Christ
  • Wikipedia


  1. Karin
    May 20, 2013

    Thanks for sharing about this little known saint. I love that he had such devotion and reverence for the Holy Name of Jesus.
    I also loved that sermon on sin~ I dare any priest to give a similar one these days “)

    • Caroline
      May 20, 2013

      Wouldn’t that be a homily to beat all homilies, Karin? : )
      I would love a pastor with that kind of boldness. I’d be the little “Amen” corner in the front row.
      Thanks so much for stopping by..I love to see your name in the comments.
      Blessings always +

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>