DAILY CATHOLIC     WEDNESDAY     May 19, 1999     vol. 10, no. 97


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Wednesday, May 19, 1999

      First Reading: Acts 20: 28-38
      Psalms: Psalm 68: 29-30, 33-36
      Gospel Reading: John 17: 11-19

Thursday, May 20, 1999

    Thursday, May 20:
    Seventh Thursday of Easter and
    Feast of Saint Bernardine of Siena, priest, religious and missionary

    White vestments

      First Reading: Acts 22: 30; 23: 6-11
      Psalms: Psalm 16: 1-2, 5, 7-11
      Gospel Reading: John 17: 20-26


          Saint Bernardine was born of noble parentage in Siena, Italy near the end of the 14th Century. While a youth he practiced the Corporal and Spiritual Works of Mercy, even to personally taking care of an old woman who was very holy. From her he learned a true respect for God and devotion to the Church. Upon her death following a long illness, Bernardine entered the Franciscan Order. There he dedicated his life to God and vowed to be a great preacher of the Holy Name of God. One day in 1408, while the great preacher Saint Vincent Ferrer was preaching to a group of young Franciscans, he stopped in the middle of his sermon to prophesize that there was among this group one who would go on to become a greater preacher than himself and would bring great honor to Holy Mother Church. Bernardine never dreamed it was him Ferrer was talking about for he had a speech impediment that hindered him from speaking eloquently to the people. Yet, true to St. Vincent's prediction, Bernardine went on to become just that as God cured him through the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary. For 38 years Bernardin spread devotion to the Holy Name through his inspiring words and example. The fruits of his labors produced countless conversions and reformed most of Italy but, as is true of anyone who willingly takes up the cross, he suffered great persecution by detractors, even being proclaimed a heretic by some in the Church. Yet through all his trials he persevered, trusting in the truth and God's providence. He was finally proclaimed innocent and absolved of any wrongdoing. The Feast of the Holy Name commemorates the path of salvation for all of us following the example of Christ: suffering in order to attain triumphant glory. This was the path Bernardin traveled throughout his life, succumbing on Ascension Eve in 144 while his fellow Franciscans were chanting the antiphon, "Father, I have manifested Thy Name to men."

May 19, 1999       volume 10, no. 97


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