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BERNARDINE


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BERNARDINE


the top either a cross or a standard with the inscrif>- tion: Curam iUius habe. As an author Bernardine has left us little if anj'thing of importance, but it is interesting to note tliat the authorship of the well- knouTi Anima Christi has as often as not been ascribed to Blessed Bernardine of Feltre. The fact, however, that the A nima Christi was composed some- time before the birth of Blessed Bernardine dis- proves any claim that iie might ha\e of being its author. As in the case of St. Ignatius, Bernardine also made frequent use of it and recommended it to his brethren. The feast of Blessed Bernardine is kept in the Order of Friars Minor on the 28th of September. (See Moxti di Piet.\.)

Leo. Lizes of the Saints arid Blessed of the Three Orders of St. Francis (Taunton. 1SS61. Ill, 243-265; W.4DDD.G. Annates Minorum. VI. 142. XII, 442. passim; Acta SS.. September. VII, 814-914; Z.\nettini. Compendia della vita del Beato Fel- trese, Bernardino Tomitano (Milan); Florxoy. Le Bienheuretix Bemardin de Feltre (Paris, ISQS); Lcdovice de Besse. Le Bienheureux Bemardin de Feltre et son ceuvre (Tours. 1902).

Stephen M. Donovan.

Bernardine of Fossa, Blessed, of the Order of Friars Minor, historian and ascetical writer, b. at Fossa, in the Diocese of Aquila. Italy, in 1420; d. at Aquila, 27 November, 1.503. Blessed Bernardine be- longed to the ancient and noble family of the Amici, and sometimes bears the name of Aquilanus on ac- count of his long residence and death in the town of Aquila. He received his early training at Aquila and thence went to Perugia to study canon and c\\-\\ law. On the 12th of March in the year 1445, he re- ceived the Seraphic habit from St. James of the Marches who was then preaching a course of lenten sermons at Perugia. From the time of his entrance into religion, Bernardine never ceased to advance in religious perfection, and the success which crowned his inissionarj' lalxjurs throughout Italy, as well as in Dalmatia and Serigonia, bears %Wtness to the eminent .-sanctity of his life. Bernardine fulfilled the office of provincial of the province of St. Bernardine and of the pro\-ince of Dalmatia and Bosnia, and would have been chosen Bishop of Aqtiila had not his humility forbidden him to accept this dignity. His cult was approved by Leo XII, 26 March, 1828. His feast is kept in the Franciscan Order on the 7th of November. The WTitings of Blessed Bernardine in- clude several sermons and divers ascetical and his- torical opuscules; among the latter, the "Chronica Fratrum Minonmi Observantiae" deserves special mention. This interesting chronicle was first edited by Leonard Lemmens, O. F. M., from the autograph manu.script. and is prefaced by an interesting hfe of Blessed Bernardine and a critical estimate of his writings. It may also be mentioned that Bernardine is the author of'the first life of his patron, St. Ber- nardine of Siena.

Leo. Lives of the Saints and Blessed of the three Orders of St. Francis (Taunton. 1887). IV. 42-44; Lemmeks. Chronica Fratrum Minorum Obserranti<T B. Bernardini .iquilani (Rome, 1903); Wadding, Anrwles Minorum. XII, 277-480; Hcrter, Xomenclalor. IV. 968; Hugh .i Pescocost.u<z.*, VHa del B. Bernardino da Fossa (Naples, 1872).

Stephen M. Donov.\n.

Bernardine of Siena, S.unt, Friar Minor, mis- sionary, and reformer, often called the "Apostle of Italy", b. of the noble family of Albizeschi at Mas'sa, a Sienese town of which liis father was then governor, 8 September, 1380; d. at Aquila in the Abruzzi, 20 May, 1444. Left an orphan at six Ber- nardine was brought up with great care by his pious aunta. His youth was blameless and engaging. In 1397 after a course of civil and canon law, he joined the Confraternity of Our Lady attached to the great hospital of Santa Maria della Scala. Three years later, when the pestilence revisited Siena, he came forth from the life of seclusion and prayer he had em- braced, to minister to the plague-stricken, and, assisted by ten companions, took upon himself for


four months entire charge of this hospital. Despite his youth Bernardine proved fully equal to this task, but the heroic and unremitting labour it in- volved so far shattered his health that he never completely recovered. Having distributed his patri- mony in charity, Bernardine received the habit of the Friars Minor at San Francesco in Siena, 8 Sep- tember, 1402, but soon withdrew to the Observantine convent of Coluinbaio outside the city. He was professed S September, 1403 and ordained S Sep- tember. 1404. About 1406 St. Vincent Ferrer, while E reaching at Alexandria in Piedmont, foretold that is mantle should descend upon one who was then listening to him, and said that he would return to France and Spain leaving to Bernardine the task of evangelizing the remaining peoples of Italy.

Nearly twelve years passed before this prediction was fulfilled. During this period, of which we have no details, Bernardine seems to have lived in re- tirement at Capriola. It was in 1417 that his gift of eloquence was made manifest and his missionary life really began at Milan at the close of that year. Thenceforth, various cities contended for the honour of hearing him, and he was often compelled to preach in the market places, his auditors sometimes nmnbering thirty thousand. Bernardine gradually gained an immense influence over the turbulent, luxurious Italian cities. Pius II, who as a youth had been a spellbound auditor of Bernardine, records that the saint was listened to as another Paul, and Vespasiano da Bisticci, a well-known Florentine biographer, says that by his sermons Bernardine "cleansed all Italy from sins of everj' kind in which she abounded". The penitents, we are told, flocked to confession "hke ants" and in several cities the reforms urged by the saint were embodied in the laws under the name of Rifomiazioni di jrate Ber- nardino. Indeed, the success which crowned Ber- nardine's labours to promote morality and regenerate society, can scarcely be exaggerated. He preached with apostolic freedom, openly censuring Visconti, Duke of Milan, and elsewhere fearlessly rebuking the evil in high places which vmdermined \\\c Quat- trocento. In each city he denoimced the reigning vice so effectively that bonfires were kindled and "vanities" were cast upon them by the cartload. L'sury was one of the principal objects of the saint's attacks, and he did much to prepare the way for the establishment Oi the beneficial loan societies, known as Monti di Pietii. But Bernardine's watchward, like that of St. Francis, was "Peace". On foot he traversed the length and breadth of Italy peace- making, and his eloquence was exercised with great ellect towards reconciling the mutual hatred of Guelphs and Gltibellines. At Crema, as a result of his preaching, the political exiles were recalled and even reinstated in their confiscated possessions. Eve^J^vhere Bernardine persuaded the cities to take down the arms of their warring factions from the church and palace walls and to inscribe there, in- stead, the initials I. H. S. He thus gave a new impulse and a tangible form to the devotion to the Holy Name of Jesus which was ever a favourite topic with him and which he came to regard as a potent means of rekindling popular fervour. He used to hold a board in front of him while preacliing, with the sacred monogram painted on it in the midst of rays and afterwards expose it for veneration. This custom he appears to have introduced at Volterra in 1424. At Bologna Bernardine induced a card- painter, who had been ruined by his sermons against gambling, to make a living by designing these tab- lets, and such was the desire to possess them that the man soon realized a small fortune.

In spite of his popularity — perhaps rather on ac- count of it — Bernardine had to suffer both opposition and persecution. He was accused of heresy, the