Saint of the Day – 29 November – Blessed Bernardo Francisco de Hoyos SJ (1711-1735) Professed Priest of the Society of Jesus, Mystic, Apostle of the Sacred Heart – born on 21 August 1711 at Torrelobatón, Valladolid, Kingdom of Spain (1711-08-21) and died on 29 November 1735, Valladolid, Spain of natural causes (typhoid), aged 24. The miracle for his Beatification involved a young lady with typhoid.
Bernardo Francisco de Hoyos de Seña was born on 21 August 1711 to Don Manuel de Hoyos and Doña Francisca de Seña. His father worked at the town hall at Torrelobatón near Valladolid. He was baptised on 6 September in his local parish church in the names of “Bernardo Francisco Javier.” He was named in honour of Saint Bernard of Clairvaux and Saint Francis Xavier. He received his Confirmation in 1720.
On 11 July 1726, a not quite fifteen year old Bernardo Francisco de Hoyos y Seña crossed the threshold of the Jesuit novitiate of the Province of Castile. Straightaway he chose the Flemish Saint John Berchmans SJ as his model and intercessor. At his profession on 12 July 1728, he heard Our Lord say to him: “From today on I will unite Myself more intimately to you because of my love for you.” Our Lord, His Virgin Mother, Saint Ignatius, Saint Teresa of Avila and other celestial visitors manifested themselves to the young Jesuit, conversed with him, counselled him and encouraged him. In 1726 both Aloysius Gonzaga SJ and Stanislaus Kostka SJ were Canonised by Pope Benedict XIII. The two became models of holiness for the Jesuit priest, as well as John Berchmans who was already on the course for Canonisation.
On 10 August 1729, the Saviour, covered with His Precious Blood, appeared to Bernardo, and showing him the wound in His Side, said, “Rejected by humanity, I come to find my consolation with chosen souls.” Bernardo’s experience closely resembles that of Saint Margaret Mary Alacoque fifty-three years earlier in the Visitation Monastery of Paray-le-Monial in France.
Bernardo was ordained a priest on 2 January 1735, for which he had to obtain special permission due to his young age. Saint John the Evangelist and Saint Francis de Sales, mystically present at the ordination, served as his “godfathers” in the priesthood. In that same year he wrote:
Hitherto I had great confidence in my prayers and petitions, depending on the intercession of the Heart of Jesus, at present I have no doubt about obtaining whatsoever I ask, if it is for the greater glory of God. I am convinced that at the altar, the Eternal Father can refuse me nothing . . . I find myself with views like that of Venerable Father La Colombière concerning the greatness of this sacrifice. Here I am as if I were triumphant, for it seems to me not only that I am making reparation for myself and for the whole world but that the Eternal Father is my debtor.
Now and again, during Mass . . . a word of the Eternal Father has assured me of the satisfaction He takes in His Son and in His Heart and how this satisfaction may embolden me, even at the sight of my sins and ingratitude, to presume as much as I fancy, for all is contained in the merits of Jesus, whose minister I am and whose place I take.”
Father Bernardo de Hoyos died on 29 November 1735 at the age of twenty-four. He left behind the memory of his brief but fruitful ministry as a priest, the reputation of a charism for delivering souls from the vice of impurity – his book, The Hidden Treasure, published under the name of Father John de Loyola and a wealth of detailed accounts of his mystical experiences of the Heart of Jesus.
On 17 January 2009, the Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI, met with the Prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, Archbishop Angelo Amato, S.D.B. The Pope authorised the promulgation of a number of decrees, among them the recognition of a miracle attributed to the Servant of God Bernardo Francisco Hoyos.
On 19 April 2010, Father Bernardo Francisco de Hoyos was beatified in Valladolid, Spain. The ceremony was presided over by Archbishop Angelo Amato, prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints. In addition to nearly a 1,000 priests and more the 20,000 faithful, approximately fifty bishops and cardinals attended the ceremony. The new Blessed’s liturgical memorial was confirmed for today, the anniversary of his death.