Saint of the Day – 27 November – Blessed Bernardine of Fossa OFM (1420-1503)

Saint of the Day – 27 November – Blessed Bernardine of Fossa OFM (1420-1503) Priest and Friar of the Observant Friars Minor of St Francis, Missionary in Italy and a renowned Preacher, noted Historian, Lawyer, Ascetical Writer, rising within the Order to important positions. Born in 1420 in Fossa, Aquila, Italy as Giovanni Amici and died on 27 November 1503 in the Franciscan Convent in L’Aquila, Italy of natural causes, aged 83. Also known as – Bernardine d’Amici, Bernardine of Aquila, Bernardine of Aquilanus, Fra Bernardino of Fossa, Giovanni Amici. Additional Memorial – 7 November (Franciscans). Patronages – the City and Diocese of L’Aquila.

The Roman Martyrology states: “At L’Aquila, blessed Bernardino da Fossa (Giovanni) Amici, Priest of the Order of Minors, who preached the Catholic Faith in many Provinces of Italy.

Giovanni belonged to the ancient and noble family of the Amici and sometimes bears the name of Aquilanus on account of his long residence and death in the Town of Aquila.

He was of very lively intelligence and excelled in his studies. He graduated in Canon and Civil Law in Perugia and in 1445, at 21, he entered the Friars Minor of the Observance and completed his novitiate at Gubbio. On 13 March 1446 he made his solemn profession in the Convent of Stroncone taking the name of Bernardine and receiving the Habit from St James of the Marches who was then preaching a course of Lenten sermons at Perugiato. As was the custom of many religious Orders at the time, the place of birth was added, so Giovanni became Fra ‘Bernardino da Fossa.

Bernardine was endowed with outstanding organisational, spiritual and guiding skills and was, therefore, entrusted with various positions in the Franciscan Convents of Gubbio, Stroncone and others, also in Umbria. From there he passed into the Abruzzi, residing especially in his own City of L’Aquila.

He was a zealous Priest and talented Preacher in numerous Umbrian Towns. He was elected Provincial Father of the Friars Minor Observants for the Abruzzi four times , holding the office from 1454 to 1460 and then from 1472 to 1475 : between 1464 and 1467 he was instead Superior of Bosnia and Dalmatia, a Province just established by Pope Pius II and in 1468 he was elected Procurator of the Order at the Holy See .

He was twice elected bishop of Aquila (first in 1472 , on the death of Cardinal Amico Agnifili and then in 1491 , as the successor of Giovanbattista Gaglioffi) but he declined the election both times, from a spirit of humility.

In 1475 he abandoned all office and retired to the Convent of San Giuliano dell’Aquila. On 16 January 1495 , he managed to stop the troops of Charles VIII and persuaded them not to cross the L’ Aquila territory, sparing the population the serious consequences of a military occupation.

Bernardine was also a prolific writer – his writings include several sermons and short ascetical works and focus on themes of history and theology. His nephew, Antonio Amici, who was also his Biographer, published some of Bernardine’s works in 1572 , today of great value due to the extreme rarity of the preserved copies. Bernardine was the Author of the first life of his Patron, St Bernardino of Siena.

Bernardine died in the Convent of L’Aquila on 27 November 1503 and was always given a cult of blessed, both in Italy and throughout the Franciscan Order.
The cult was later confirmed by the Beatification of Pope Leo XII on 26 March 1828.

Apparition of Christ to the Blessed Bernardino of Fossa by Francesco da Montereale,

Memorial of Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal and Memorials of the Saints – 27 November

Memorial of Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal / The Medal of the Immaculate Conception (1830) (the correct title is the latter):

This Optional Memorial on the Catholic Calendar commemorates the apparition to St. Catherine Labouré on 27 November 1830. Then a novice of the Daughters of Charity in Paris, the young woman saw the Holy Virgin in glowing white, standing on a partial sphere, gazing heavenwards, holding up a gold globe as in offering to God. Words formed in an oval around her: “O Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to you.” The image turned around to reveal a cross atop a bar interlacing a letter M, with two hearts beneath. The Virgin spoke: “Have a medal struck after this model; everyone who wears it will receive great graces…”

On 30 June 1832, Aurélien Vachette delivered the first 1500 medals, commissioned by the the seer’s spiritual director and approved by the Archbishop. Vachette. As Catherine reported, rays came from Mary’s hands but here the hands were empty, held out at her sides. A snake appeared under her feet and below, the date 1830. On the reverse, where Catherine quoted the Virgin as saying, “The M and the two hearts are enough,” Vachette added the 12 stars of Revelation 12:1 encircling the whole. Despite these innovations, Sister Catherine approved the new Immaculate Conception medal, soon known as the Miraculous Medal for the many blessings it delivered as it spread rapidly through France, Europe and the world. It is still one of the most beloved and widespread and efficacious sacramentals of Catholic believers.

Two of the most famous conversions due to the Miraculous medal was that of Fr Alphonse Ratisbonne NDS (1814-1884), an anti-Catholic Jewish banker and Claude Newman (1923-1944).
Fr Alphonse Ratisbonne received a vision of Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal. After his conversion, he became a Priest and worked for the conversion of the Jewish people.

St Acacius of Sebaste
St Acharius of Noyon
St Apollinaris of Monte Cassino
St Barlaam
Blessed Bernardine of Fossa OFM (1420-1503) Priest, Friar of the Friars Minor
St Bilhild of Altmünster
Bl Bronislao Kostkowski
St Eusician
St Facundus
St Fergus the Pict
St Gallgo of Wales
St Gregory of Sinai
St Gulstan
St Hirenarchus of Sebaste
St James Intercisus
St John Angeloptes
St John of Pavia
St Josaphat
Bl José Pérez González
Bl Juan Antonio de Bengoa Larriñaga
St Laverius

St Leonard of Port Maurice OFM (1676-1751) Priest and Friar of the Friars Minor, Confessor, Preacher – in particular Parish Mission Preacher, Ascetic Writer, Spiritual Director.
His Feast Day should be 26 November – it was moved to 27 November in 1969.
About St Leonard:

St Maximus of Reiz
St Primitivus of Sahagun
St Secundinus of Ireland
St Severinus the Hermit
St Siffred of Carpentras
St Valerian of Aquileia

St Virgilius of Salzburg (c 700-784) Bishop, Abbot, early Astronomer, Architect, Writer, Poet, Patron of the Arts – he was called “the Apostle of Carinthia” and “the Geometer.”

Martyrs of Antioch – (3 saints): A group of Christians martyred together for their faith. Little information has survived except for their names – Auxilius, Basileus and Saturninus.

Martyrs of Nagasaki – (11 beati): A group of eleven Christians martyred together for their faith during a period of official persecution in Japan. They are:
• Blessed Alexius Nakamura
• Blessed Antonius Kimura
• Blessed Bartholomaeus Seki
• Blessed Ioannes Iwanaga
• Blessed Ioannes Motoyama
• Blessed Leo Nakanishi
• Blessed Matthias Kozasa
• Blessed Matthias Nakano
• Blessed Michaël Takeshita
• Blessed Romanus Motoyama Myotaro
• Blessed Thomas Koteda Kyumi
They were martyred on 27 November 1619 in Nagasaki, Japan and Beatified on 7 May 1867 by Pope Pius IX.

Martyred in the Spanish Civil War:
• Blessed Bartolomé Gelabert Pericás
• Blessed Eduardo Camps Vasallo
• Blessed José Pérez González
• Blessed Juan Antonio de Bengoa Larriñaga
• Blessed Miguel Aguado Camarillo
• Blessed Pedro Armendáriz Zabaleta