Saint of the Day – 15 July – Blessed Bernard of Baden TOSF (1428-1458)

Saint of the Day – 15 July – Blessed Bernard of Baden TOSF (1428-1458) Margrave of Baden (Margrave was originally the medieval title for the military commander assigned to maintain the defence of one of the border provinces of the Holy Roman Empire.) Tertiary of the Order of St Francis, apostle of the poor and the needy. Born in c 1428 in Hohenbaden Castle, Baden-Baden, Baden-Württemberg, Germany and died on 15 July 1458 in Moncalieri, Italy of natural causes. Also known as – Bernard of Marchio, Bernard II, Margrave of Baden-Baden, Bernhard of Baden, Bernardo, Bernardus, Bernhard. Patronages – Baden, Germany, Baden-Baden, Germany, together with Saint Konrad of Constance , he is the Patron Saint of the Archdiocese of Freiburg, Germany, Moncalieri, Italy.

Blessed Bernard was born in late 1428 or early 1429 (his exact birthday is not known) at Hohenbaden Castle near Baden-Baden in the present state of Baden- Baden. Württemberg in Germany. This Castle was the then tribal seat of the Margraves of Baden and Bernhard was the second son of Margrave James I and his wife Catherine of Lorraine, who was the daughter of Blessed Margaret of the Palatinate and Duke Charles II of Lorraine (1364-1431) .

Berrnard grew up in a deeply religious family. His father,had founded Fremersberg Abbey and expanded the Collegiate Church in Baden-Baden. The Margrave’s house was characterised by a deep devotion and religious practices and a great sense of responsibility towards the family members and subjects.

Bernard received a careful education, which would prepare him for his later role as a sovereign. The intent was that he would be Margrave of Pforzheim, Eberstein, Besigheim and several districts in the northern part of the Margraviate.

He was related to the Habsburg dynasty via his older brother Karl I, who had married Catherine of Austria, a sister of Emperor Frederick III. This relationship should give Bernard access to the imperial Court. But first, he assisted his uncle René of Anjou in an armed conflict in northern Italy. According to contemporary sources, he fought bravely. After his father’s death in 1453, he returned to Baden, where he agreed with his brother to give up his claim to part of the margraviate. Instead, he became Frederick III’s personal envoy, despite his young age.

Bernard saw a number of disgraceful situations and tried to alleviate hardship and poverty wherever he could. He spent most of his income assisting the poor and those in need. Even during his lifetime, he impressed his contemporaries with his unusual and deep piety.

Under pressure, after the fall of Constantinople to the Turks in 1453, the imperial Habsburg family began preparing a Crusade against the expanding Ottoman Empire. In March 1453, the Turks captured Constantinople, the capital of the Greek Empire, after a terrible battle and the City was lost to Christianity. This was the main reason that Frederick III, in particular, saw the need to attempt to rout the Turks. Thus, Bernard left soldier life and embarked on a diplomatic career, which was more in line with his peaceful nature. Emperor Frederick III sent him to various Courts in Germany, France and Italy to arouse interest and raise money for a new Crusade. He was so attracted to this mission to save Christianity, that he soon after handed over the office of Margrave of Baden with all rights to his brother Karl for a period of ten years.

Bernard had, since childhood, lived a very religious life and wanted to support his brother-in-law the Emperor by all means. At the imperial Court he also became an ardent intercessor for the needy, following the teachings of Christ and His Church and seeing the Face of Christ in the poor. Bernard rightly believed, that Godliness should lead to mercy for those in most need. He himself lived as he taught and divided his guaranteed annual income into three: one-third was to be used for the poor, one-third was to benefit the Church, and one-third was for himself. In addition, he led a strictly religious life and gave up all worldly pleasures, which earned him deep respect even during his young lifetime.

Emperor Frederick III held two parliaments in 1455, where he appointed delegations of German Princes to recruit rulers outside Germany to take part in a crusade against the Turks. Bernard’s intention was to work on behalf of Emperor Frederick III for the good of Christianity in the areas that the Turks had occupied.  His last voyage as an imperial envoy began in late May 1458 and led him and his companions to the Duchy of Orléans and on to Genoa.

He was on his way to Rome, to meet Pope Callistus III (1455-1458), who himself tried to encourage support for a Crusade with great enthusiasm but little success . But shortly after Bernard left Turin in northern Italy, he and his companions were infected by an epidemic, probably the plague. He tried to get home to Baden but even before reaching the village of Moncalieri on the Po River south of Turin in Piedmont, two of his companions were dead. In a hostel next to the Franciscan Monastery in Moncalieri, Bernard died on 15 July 1458, not yet thirty years old.

Due to his position as Prince and Emperor’s envoy, Margrave Bernard was buried in front of the High Altar in the dormitory Church of Santa Maria della Scala in Moncalieri.  He was not a citizen of Moncalieri but was, nevertheless, solemnly carried to the grave in the presence of numerous clergy and local citizens, which was probably due more to his privileged status, than the strongly believing and holy life he had led.

During the mourning ceremony, Bernard’s life was told, which led to a citizen of Moncalieri asking Bernhard for prayer and help, as he had only been able to move with a cane and crutches for a long time the result of a bone disease. Already, during the mourning ceremony, this man recovered, which led to general astonishment and joy and was immediately attributed to the prayers of the newly buried Badian Margrave.  Bernard’s cult and calls for help and support had begun.  He already had a reputation for holiness and for a special devotion to the Virgin Mary, and many miracles were reported at his tomb.  In Moncalieri and the surrounding area, accounts spread of his effective intercession.  His tomb and his relics became a pilgrimage site which it still is.  Pilgrimages were and are held there, prayers are said, vows are made and sacrifices are offered. Bernhard has, for many centuries, been the Patron Saint of Moncalieri, which is probably the only City in Italy, that has a German Prince as their Protector.

His cult spread rapidly in Piedmont and the surrounding areas of France and Germany.  In Vic near Nancy and Metz in Lorraine, where Bernhard’s brother Georg had been Bishop, an Altar and Statue were rected in St. Stephan’s Collegiate Church.  Of course, he was also remembered in his home county.  There, Margaret, daughter of Margrave Charles I, who from 1477 to 1496 was Abbess of the Monastery of Lichtenthal, had a wooden Statue made in honour of her uncle, which was erected in the princely Chapel.

The wooden Statue erected by Bleseed Bernard’s niece

Bernard was Beatifed on 16 September 1769 by Pope Clement XIV. His Canonisation process continues, at present, the second miracle required is being investigated.


B. Mariae Virginis Molanus / Our Lady of Molanus, Jerusalem (1099) and Memorials of the Saints – 15 July

B. Mariae Virginis Molanus / Our Lady of Molanus, Jerusalem (1099) – 15 July :

In the year 1099, the Christian armies arrived in Jerusalem, overjoyed that they had survived and reached their objective. Their joy turned nearly to despair, however, as they ran short of food and suffered greatly with a plague during the siege of the City.
The leaders of the Crusade concluded, that they could not win without courting the Divine Assistance. It was agreed by all, that they should march together barefoot around the City while singing litanies to the Blessed Virgin Mary. This they did, as the Jews had done centuries before at Jericho, while praying, fasting and giving alms. Eight days later, Godfrey of Bouillon, known as the “Defender of the Holy Sepulchre,” was the first to breach the walls and set foot in Jerusalem, which was then swiftly taken.
The Turks were finally defeated after what had been a long and difficult siege and the First Crusade ended with a Christian victory. Now that the City was in Christian hands, the Crusaders desired that they should have a king for the new Kingdom of Jerusalem. The nobleman Raymond of Saint Gilles was offered the crown but he refused, as it did not seem proper to him to be named king in that holy place. Next, Robert Courte-Heuse also refused. Finally, Godfrey of Bouillon, who had so distinguished himself in the taking of Jerusalem, was asked to accept the crown.

Godfrey of Bouillon, from a fresco painted by Giacomo Jaquerio in Saluzzo, northern Italy, around 1420.

Godfrey of Bouillon was a good man, the son of Blessed Ida of Bouillon, whose father was the Duke Godfrey of Lorraine, himself a descendent of Blessed Charles the Great. Although Godfrey agreed to be made king, still, as they were about to crown him King of Jerusalem, Godfrey pushed aside the crown, saying, “I cannot wear a diadem in the place where my Lord wore a Crown of Thorns.” Instead, as he had prayed at Our Lady at Boulogne-sur-mer before leaving on the Crusade, he credited the Blessed Virgin Mary with the victory, and symbolically gave the crown to Our Lady of Molanus.
After the victory, clad in white garments, the Crusaders expressed, in solemn procession, hymns and prayers, their gratitude to the Mother of God for giving them this singular victory over the enemies of the Church.

The annual celebration in remembrance of the victory occurs each year on15 July with a Mass offered to Our Lady of Molanus. Formerly the feast of this event was celebrated with a double office and octave.

St Bonaventure of Bagnoregio OFM (1221-1274) – Seraphic Doctor of the Church – Friar of the Friars Minor Order of St Francis, Bishop, Theologian, Philosopher, Writer, Mystic, Preacher, Teacher. One of the eaqrly Biographers of St Francis.(Memorial)
St Bonaventure!

Dispersion of the Apostles: Commemorates the missionary work of the Twelve Apostles. It was first mentioned in the 11th century and was celebrated in the northern countries of Europe during the Middle Ages. It is now observed in Germany, Poland and some dioceses of England, France and the United States.

St Abundantia of Spoleto
St Abudemius of Bozcaada
St Adalard the Younger
St Anrê Nguyen Kim Thông

Bl essed Anne-Mary Javouhey (1779-1851) “The Mother of the Slaves,” Religious Sister, Missionary and Founder of the Sisters of Saint Joseph of Cluny. Imagine a Mother Teresa in the France of Napoleon’s day and you will have a picture of Anne-Marie Javouhey. Nanette, as she was called, was a “velvet brick,” a thin layer of gentleness covering her determined core. A competent leader, Nanette dominated every scene in her adventurous life. Blessed Anne-Marie was Beatified on 15 October 1950 by Ven Pope Pius XII.

Bl Antoni Beszta-Borowski
St Apronia
St Athanasius of Naples
St Antiochus of Sebaste
St Benedict of Angers
Blessed Bernard of Baden TOSF (1428-1458)
St David of Sweden
St Donivald
St Eberhard of Luzy
St Edith of Tamworth
St Eternus
St Felix of Pavia
St Gumbert of Ansbach
St Haruch of Werden
St Jacob of Nisibis
St Joseph Studita of Thessalonica
Bl Michel-Bernard Marchand
Bl Peter Aymillo
St Phêrô Nguyen Bá Tuan
St Plechelm of Guelderland
Bl Roland of Chézery
St Valentina of Nevers
St Vladimir I of Kiev

Martyred Jesuit Missionaries of Brazil – 40 beati: A band of forty Spanish, Portugese and French Jesuit missionaries martyred by the Huguenot pirate Jacques Sourie while en route to Brazil. They are –
• Aleixo Delgado • Alonso de Baena • álvaro Borralho Mendes • Amaro Vaz • André Gonçalves • António Correia • Antônio Fernandes • António Soares • Bento de Castro • Brás Ribeiro • Diogo de Andrade • Diogo Pires Mimoso • Domingos Fernandes • Esteban Zuraire • Fernando Sánchez • Francisco Alvares • Francisco de Magalhães • Francisco Pérez Godoy • Gaspar Alvares • Gonçalo Henriques • Gregorio Escribano • Ignatius de Azevedo • Iõao • João Fernandes • João Fernandes • Juan de Mayorga • Juan de San Martín • Juan de Zafra • Luís Correia • Luís Rodrigues • Manuel Alvares • Manuel Fernandes • Manuel Pacheco • Manuel Rodrigues • Marcos Caldeira • Nicolau Dinis • Pedro de Fontoura • Pedro Nunes • Simão da Costa • Simão Lopes •
They were martyed on 15 and 16 July 1570 on the ship Santiago near Palma, Canary Islands. They were beatified on 11 May 1854 by Pope Pius IX.

Martyrs of Alexandria – 13 saints: Thirteen Christians who were martyred together. We know the names of three, no details about them and the other ten were all children. – Narseus, Philip and Zeno. Martyred in the early 4th-century in Alexandria, Egypt.

Martyrs of Carthage – 9 saints: A group of nine Christians who were martyred together. We know nothing else but their names – Adautto, Catulinus, Felice, Florentius, Fortunanziano, Januarius, Julia, Justa and Settimino. They were martyred in Carthaginian and their relics at the basilica of Fausta at Carthage.

Martyrs of Pannonia – 5 saints: Five 4th-century martyrs killed together. No information about them has survived except the names – Agrippinus, Fortunatus, Martialis, Maximus and Secundinus.