Saint Bernardine of Siena – Feast Day – May 20

Today is Saturday, April 1, 2023

Saint Bernardine of Siena was also known as Bernadino, Bernardine or Bernardino. He was born on September 8 1380 in Massa Marittima, Italy and died on May 20 1444 at the age of 63 in Aquila, Italy. He was an Italian priest and Franciscan missionary. His feast day is celebrated on May 20 every year.

Saint Bernardine of Siena Biography
Date of Birth September 8 1380
Country of Birth Italy
Profession Italian priest and Franciscan Missionary
Place of Work Italy
Date of Death May 20 1444 (aged 63)
Place of Death Aquila, Italy
Feast Day May 20
Canonization By Pope Nicholas V on 24 May 1450, Rome, Papal States
Patron Saint of
  • Against hoarseness
  • Against chest problems
  • Against respiratory problems
  • lung problems, lungs
  • Advertisers, advertising
  • Communications personnel
  • Gambling addicts; against compulsive gambling
  • Public relations personnel (proclaimed on 20 May 1960 by Pope John XXIII)
  • Italy
  • Diocese of San Bernardino, California
  • 4 cities in Italy

Saint Bernardine of Siena Short life History

St Bernardino was the son of Albertollo degli Albizzeschi. At the time of his birth his father was the governor of Massa Marittima in Southern Tuscany.

His parents died while he was six years old and was raised by a Christian aunt. After taking a course in civil and canon law in 1397, he joined the Confraternity that was attached to the hospital of Santa Maria della Scala Church.

In 1400 there was a plague that stroke that area and Bernardino took care of the plague-stricken patients. He escaped the sickness itself but a fever stricked him and he became indisposed for several months.

In 1403 he joined the Franciscan Order and in 1404 Bernardino was ordained a priest and in the following year, he was commissioned as a preacher.

Around 1406, a Dominican friar and missionary called St. Vincent Ferrer, predicted that a young Franciscan Frair, seated among his listeners, would one day take over the mantle of great preaching from him. He said this while preaching at Alessandria in the Piedmont region of Italy. He returned to France and Spain, leaving the task of evangelizing to Bernardino.

Preaching Style

St Bernardino, unlike his felow preachers who preached only from written scripts during the liturgical celebrations, preached directly to the public even outside the celebration of mass. Despite his weak and hoarse voice he came to be known as the best preacher of the time.

He was a captivating preacher, who would use creative language and popular imagery. This would draw many people and large crowds to hear his sermons and preachings. He would drive his message home by drawing his themes from the day to day lives of the people as opposed to getting it directly from the scriptures.

During his preachings some of the things he spoke against were;

  • Excess of luxury and immodest apparel
  • Gambling
  • Abstain from blasphemy
  • Christian anti-semitism
  • Indecent conversation,
  • Games of hazard
  • Lack of observation of feast days
  • Sodomy and homosexuality

In order to maintain his monastic and evangelical activities, he declined several offers to become the bishop of several places like Siena, Ferrara, and Urbino.

In 1438, he became the vicar-general of the Observant branch of the Franciscans in Italy. But in 1442, Having in 1442, St Bernardino persuaded the pope and finally resigned as vicar-general to concentrate entirely on preaching.


St Bernardino was born on September 8 1380 in Massa Marittima, Italy.


St Bernardino died on May 20 1444 at the age of 63 in L’Aquila in the Abruzzi, Italy and is buried in the Basilica of San Bernardino. It is believed that his grave continued to leak blood until two warring factions of the city reconciled.


In in 1450, after only six years after his death, Bernardino was canonized by Pope Nicholas V as a saint.

St Bernardino Feast Day

His feast day is celebrated in the Roman Catholic Church on May 20 every year, which happens to be the date of his death


Saint Bernardino is venerated in the Roman Catholic Church, He is represented with;

  • Tablet inscribed IHS
  • Sun inscribed IHS
  • Short, elderly Franciscan with three mitres at his feet. Each mitre represents the bishoprics he rejected
  • Short, elderly Franciscan holding a tablet inscribed IHS
  • Chrism

Saint Bernardine of Siena is the Patron Saint of

  • Lungs
  • Lung problems
  • Against respiratory problems
  • Against hoarseness
  • Against chest problems
  • Uncontrolled gambling
  • Public relations work
  • Public relations personnel (proclaimed on 20 May 1960 by Pope John XXIII)
  • Gambling addicts
  • Compulsive gambling
  • Communications personnel
  • Advertising
  • Advertisers
  • Diocese of San Bernardino, California
  • Siena College, New York, USA
  • Italy
    • Venice
    • Trevignano Romano
    • Castelspina, Alessandria
    • Carpi
    • Aquila
    • Altavilla Irpina
  • San Bernardino Pass in Switzerland
  • Philippine barangays of
    • Kay-Anlog in Calamba,
    • Laguna and
    • Tuna in Cardona, Rizal

Today’s Saint Bernardine of Siena Quote

Let us learn from the life of St. Bernardine the power of the Holy Name in life and death.

Saint Bernardine of Siena
Saint Bernardine of Siena

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