dimanche 3 juillet 2016

Saint BERNARDINO REALINO, prêtre jésuite

La châsse avec les reliques de St Bernardino Realino, à Lecce

Saint Bernardin Realino

prêtre jésuite ( 1616)

Il naquit en Emilie et fut d'abord étudiant à Bologne. Dans la fougue de sa jeunesse tumultueuse, il doit fuir la ville pour avoir donné un coup de poignard au cours d'une rixe. Ce qui ne l'empêche pas, quelques années plus tard, de devenir maire, gouverneur, juge et intendant. A 34 ans, il entre chez les jésuites où il est ordonné prêtre. Envoyé à Lecce, il visite les hôpitaux et les prisons. Il passe des heures entières au confessionnal, accueillant chacun avec grande bonté et compréhension. Il meurt aveugle et paralysé, suscitant immédiatement une grande vénération populaire.

À Lecce dans les Pouilles, en 1618, saint Bernardin Realino, prêtre de la Compagnie de Jésus. Célèbre par sa charité et sa bonté, il délaissa les honneurs du monde pour se donner au soin pastoral des prisonniers et des malades et au ministère de la prédication et de la pénitence.

Martyrologe romain

Bernardino Realino, SJ (RM)

Born at Carpi (near Modena), Italy, in 1530; died at Lecce, Italy, 1616; beatified by Leo XIII; canonized in 1947 by Pope Pius XII. Bernardino led a lively early life, but after practicing law for some years, he entered the Society of Jesus at age 34. He was admitted at Naples by Father Alphonso Salmeron, one of the first companions of Saint Ignatius. He worked for 10 years in Naples, doing pastoral work, preaching, catechizing, and helping the poor, the sick, and prison inmates.

His holiness and fiery speaking caused him to be recognized as a saint in his lifetime and a spontaneous cultus sprang up, which helped to provide evidence for some of the remarkable occurrences that were testified to under oath in the process of his beatification.

After pastoring a flock, he went to the college at Lecce to teach and eventually was appointed rector of the college, where he remained for the rest of his life. Six years before his death, he fell and suffered two wounds that would not heal. During his last illness, blood from a leg wound was collected in vials on account of the great veneration in which Bernardino was held.

This blood behaved in various extraordinary ways. In some vessels it retained its liquidity over a century; in others it even foamed and seemed to increase in volume; in one, an observer said it "boiled" and frothed on the anniversary of his death and when brought near a reliquary containing his tongue.

In 1634, Bernardino's tomb was opened by an ecclesiastical authority. A good deal of tissue was left, and it was separated from the bones and put into two glass containers, which were reburied with the skeleton in the coffin.

In 1711, the contents of the coffin were examined by the bishop of Lecce, in the presence of witnesses, to verify the relics. One of the glass vessels was broken, but in the other the tissues were in an apparently unaltered state but floating in a dark red liquid. The liquid was said by doctors to be blood,and they attested that its preservation and sweet smell were miraculous.

Two years later a commission of three bishops, appointed by the Congregation of Sacred Rites to examine the blood, found it to be liquid, crimson, and foaming. Don Gaetano Solazzo, who had charge of a vial (probably the vial of 1616) in the Cathedral of Lecce in 1804, left a statement saying it was liquid and had twice foamed and bubbled.

Nuns saw it do the same, and a Jesuit father stated in a sworn deposition that he'd witnessed it do the same twice in 1852. These circumstances are notable because they are such a well- authenticated example of such phenomena. In 1895, a biographer could find no relic of blood still in a liquid state (Attwater, Benedictines, Delaney, White).

Saint Bernadine Realino

Also known as
  • Apostle of Lecce
  • Bernardino Realini

Born to the Italian nobility. Studied law and medicine at Bologna, Italy, receiving a law degree in 1556. Mayor of Felizzano, Italy. Judge. Chief tax collector in Alessandria, Italy. Mayor of Cassine, Italy. Mayor of Castelleone, Italy. Superintendent of the fiefs of the marquis of Naples, Italy.

Following a retreat, he became a Jesuit in 1564, and was ordained in 1567. Novice master in Naples, and then was sent to found a college in Lecce, a small city in the south of Italy. He quickly became the most loved man in Lecce due to his concern and charity. He made himself appear the receiver rather than the giver, and the poor and galley slaves were his special concern. One of the more interesting miracles attributed to him concerned his small pitcher of wine which was never empty until everyone present had had enough.

On Bernadine’s death bed, the city’s magistrates formally requested that in the after-life he take the city under his patronage. Unable to speak, he nodded, and died soon after, whispering the names of Jesus and Mary.


St. Bernardino Realino

Bernardino Realino was born into a noble family of Capri, Italy, in 1530. After an excellent Christian education received at home from his mother, he went on to study medicine and law at the University of Bologna, receiving his doctorate in law in 1556. A brilliant young man, Bernardino was soon on the road to success: at the tender age of 26, he was elected mayor as well as judge of the town of Felizzano. From there he became head tax collector in Alessandria, then elected mayor of Cassine, followed by his election as mayor of Castellone. Word of his learning, dedication, and legal brilliance spread throughout Italy, and the marquis of Naples named him superintendent of all his fiefs.

While in Naples, Bernardino, now 34 years old, met some priests of the relatively new Society of Jesus and made an eight-day retreat with them. During this retreat he felt a strong call to the religious life and asked the Jesuits for admittance into their Society. He was accepted and ordained a priest in 1567.

From that time on Bernardino devoted his life to the care of the poor and sick, to teaching the Faith to young people, and to ministering to galley slaves. He was appointed novice master while in Naples and remained in that city for ten years until he was sent to the south of Italy to the town of Lecci where he had been requested to found a college. He spent the rest of his life in Lecci where he was hailed as a saint during his lifetime, not only because of his powerful example as a preacher, confessor, and teacher, but also because of the many miracles he performed by the power of God. One of the miracles attributed to Bernardino was in regard to a small pitcher of wine which did not give out until everyone present had had their fill.

Six years before his death at the age of 86, Bernardino fell and sustained two wounds which never healed. During his final illness, blood was taken from one of the leg wounds and placed in glass vials. After his death, the blood appeared to boil and foam and retained its liquid state until well into the mid-nineteenth century.

So devoted were the people of Lecci to their saint, the magistrates of the town visited Bernardino on his deathbed and formally requested that he take the city under his patronage after his death. Unable to speak, Bernardino nodded his head, dying soon afterwards with the names of Jesus and Mary on his lips. He was canonized by Pope Pius XII in 1947 and is to this day considered the Patron of Lecci.


1. In his late twenties, Bernardino Realino was already a mover and shaker of his time with everything going for him in the way of success. He gave it all up, however, the moment he heard the call from God to become a priest. Here we have an example of a rich young man who this time made the right decision, who gave it all up to follow Jesus, finding his treasure in heaven rather than in the world.

2. St. Bernardino Realino dedicated much of his life to teaching young people the Faith. Remembering that young people are the future of the Church, let us pray to St. Bernardino that all those who teach the young will do so under the inspiration and guidance of the Holy Spirit and so lead our youth to a true understanding and love of their Catholic faith.

Saint Bernardino Realino

Bernardino Realino (1530-1616) spent most of his Jesuit life as a humble parish priest after renouncing a successful career as a lawyer. Born near Modena, Italy, on Dec. 1, 1530, he began university studies in philosophy and medicine but switched course midway through because he thought a legal career would bring greater advancement and wealth. Family connections helped him become mayor of Felizzano at age 26. The position included responsibility as a judge. People found him honest and asked that he be reappointed at the end of his first term. Other administrative positions followed until the marquis of Pescara took him into his employ, making him mayor of Castelleone. Despite his success, Realino found that worldly honors less interesting than he had expected and began giving his money to the poor. In 1564 the marquis named him superintendent of his estates in the Kingdom of Naples. In August of that year he encountered two Jesuit novices and learned that the Society of Jesus had only recently arrived in Naples. A sermon by a Jesuit preacher moved him deeply and led him to ask the Jesuit to hear his confession. The priest recognized Realino's religious inclinations and asked him to make an eight-day retreat. Realino experienced great peace and had a vision of our Lady commanding him to enter the Jesuits. The lawyer promptly presented himself to the provincial who accepted his entrance into the novitiate on Oct. 13, 1564. 

Realino initially asked to be a brother but superiors told him he should be ordained. Only seven months after taking first vows he was ordained on May 24, 1567. Soon afterwards Father General Francis Borgia appointed him master of novices in Naples, even though he was still studying theology. His prudence and sound judgment made up for lack of formal training. He also began the pastoral work that would occupy the rest of his years. He preached and taught catechism, visited slaves on the galleys in the Naples harbor, and heard confessions. 

In 1574 he was sent to Lecce in Apulia, to investigate the possibility of establishing a Jesuit house and college. People responded enthusiastically, and Realino began pastoral work in Lecce that would continue for 42 years: preaching, hearing confessions, counseling clergy, visiting the sick and those in prison and giving conferences in convents and monasteries. Several times the Jesuit received orders to move to Naples or Rome, but every time he was about to leave the city, he was prevented by some mysterious happening, be it a sudden fever that required rest or intemperate weather. Eventually superiors decided to quit trying to move him. 

Through the years Realino dedicated himself to pastoral care of people. In 1583 he began a sodality for diocesan priests to foster their own priestly virtues and to improve their moral theology so they could be better confessors. People of the town returned their affection, especially when the holy Jesuit fell into a final illness in June 1616. Magistrates came to him twice asking that he become Lecce's heavenly patron, but he could no longer speak and his sign was interpreted as agreement for the continued care of people of the city. 

Originally Collected and edited by: Tom Rochford, SJ

SOURCE : http://www.sjweb.info/saintsBio.cfm?SaintID=487

July 2: Saint Bernardino Realino, the "Apostle of Lecce"

Posted by Jacob

Today, July 2, we celebrate the feast day of Saint Bernardino Realino (1530-1616), Jesuit priest, and apostle of God. In a society where we equate success with earthly riches and status, Saint Bernardino is an example of a rich young man who made a better choice-- he gave up everything to follow Jesus, finding his success in heaven rather than in the world.

Bernardino was born in Modena, Italy, to a noble Italian family. He grew up with riches, status, and privilege, given his family’s position within Italian society. Initially studying medicine and philosophy at university, Bernardino turned his focus to law. He worked as an accomplished lawyer, as well as tax collector, mayor, and judge for many years, earning respect and considered successful by all standards.
However, despite his worldly accomplishments, he found himself unfulfilled.

During his 32nd year, Saint Bernardino was visited by a vision of Our Blessed Mother during an 8 day Jesuit retreat he participated in. Following the retreat, he wrote to his brother, “I have no desire for the honors of this world, but solely for the glory of God and the salvation of my soul.” Always having been considered an honest judge who protected the rights of the poor, Bernardino gave his entire salary and earnings to those in need. He entered the Jesuit order, requesting to be a brother, but his spiritual director encouraged him to become a priest. Ordained shortly thereafter, Bernardino became a model confessor, a sincere preacher, and a diligent teacher of the faith to the young.

Saint Bernardino continued his charity and shepherding of those that society had forgotten. He ministered to the poor, the slaves, the sick, and to prisoners. He was appointed Master of Novices, and eventually was sent to Lecce in Apulia to set up a Jesuit house and college. There he remained for 42 years, providing spiritual direction to all who interacted with him. Despite numerous attempts to re-assign the saintly director, miraculous occurrences (like storms and sickness) prevented his departure on every occasion. This led his superiors to believe it was the Will of God for him to remain in Lecce.

Saint Bernardino continued to give himself generously to all who sought his counsel—among them princes and royalty-- and the lines leading to his confessional grew ever longer. The “holy old man” served until the day of his death, at which time crowds gathered outside the Jesuit College. On his death-bed, the city mayor and magistrates formally requested Father Realino to be Lecce’s defender and protector in heaven. Unable to speak, he nodded assent, and uttered his final words: “O Madonna, mia santissima" ("O Lady, my most holy lady").

By the time of his death, Saint Bernardino was recognized as a man of great zeal and holiness. Those who had known him at once hailed him as a saint. Following his death, blood that had been collected from him while alive was observed to defy biological properties. For over a century, the blood remained liquefied, foaming and frothing on the anniversary of his death. Similarly, when his tomb was opened, the flesh of his body was found to be incorrupt, his blood frothing and emitting a sweet perfumed scent.

The life of Saint Bernardino Realino reminds us that it is never too late for a change in perspective! As a young man, Bernardino achieved great worldly success, but realized that worldly recognition and riches left him spiritually unfulfilled. He turned to the Lord, listened for His Will, and embraced a rich lifetime of service and obedience, providing necessary spiritual direction to others. On this, his feast day, we might pause to take stock of our own perspective and priorities. How do we judge success in our lives? How might that differ from the manner in which the Lord, Our God, judges success?

God, You taught Your Church to observe all the heavenly commandments in the love of God and neighbor. Help us to practice works of charity in imitation of Your Priest, Saint Bernardino, and merit to be numbered among the blessed in Your Kingdom.

Lord, we pray that we may be able to follow St. Bernardino Realino and respond to Your call, for Your glory and the salvation of our souls. St. Bernardino Realino, pray for us. Amen.

Inspired by the origins and spiritual
history of the Holy Rosary, we continue our meditation on the psalms, one each day, in order, for 150 days.

Today’s Psalm: Psalm 68: God’s Triumphal Procession

17 The chariots of God are tens of thousands
and thousands of thousands;
the Lord has come from Sinai into his sanctuary.
18 When you ascended on high,
you led captives in your train;
you received gifts from men,
even from the rebellious—
that you, O LORD God, might dwell there.
19 Praise be to the Lord, to God our Savior,
who daily bears our burdens.
20 Our God is a God who saves;
from the Sovereign LORD comes escape from death.
21 Surely God will crush the heads of his enemies,
the hairy crowns of those who go on in their sins.
22 The Lord says, "I will bring them from Bashan;
I will bring them from the depths of the sea,
23 that you may plunge your feet in the blood of your foes,
while the tongues of your dogs have their share."
24 Your procession has come into view, O God,
the procession of my God and King into the sanctuary.
25 In front are the singers, after them the musicians;
with them are the maidens playing tambourines.
26 Praise God in the great congregation;
praise the LORD in the assembly of Israel.
27 There is the little tribe of Benjamin, leading them,
there the great throng of Judah's princes,
and there the princes of Zebulun and of Naphtali.
28 Summon your power, O God;
show us your strength, O God, as you have done before.
29 Because of your temple at Jerusalem
kings will bring you gifts.
30 Rebuke the beast among the reeds,
the herd of bulls among the calves of the nations.
Humbled, may it bring bars of silver.
Scatter the nations who delight in war.
31 Envoys will come from Egypt;
Cush will submit herself to God.
32 Sing to God, O kingdoms of the earth,
sing praise to the Lord,
33 to him who rides the ancient skies above,
who thunders with mighty voice.
34 Proclaim the power of God,
whose majesty is over Israel,
whose power is in the skies.
35 You are awesome, O God, in your sanctuary;
the God of Israel gives power and strength to his people.
Praise be to God! (17-35)

San Bernardino Realino Sacerdote

Carpi, Modena, 1 dicembre1530 - Lecce, 2 luglio 1616

Diventa patrono di una città mentre era ancora in vita. Lecce, estate del 1616: il padre gesuita Bernardino Realino sta morendo, 42 anni dopo esservi arrivato. I reggitori del Municipio lo vanno allora a visitare in forma ufficiale. E gli fanno richiesta di voler essere il protettore della città. Lui, che tanto aveva fatto del bene a Lecce, acconsente. Nato in una famiglia illustre di Carpi, che per i suoi primi studi gli faceva venire i maestri a casa, fu poi mandato all'Accademia modenese. A 26 anni, si laurea in diritto civile e canonico. Sotto la protezione di Cristoforo Madruzzo, Bernardino si avvia sulla strada dei «pubblici uffici». A un certo punto, però, la sua carriera s'interrompe. Bernardino Realino frequenta i Gesuiti ed entra nella Compagnia. Nel 1567 è ordinato sacerdote e diventa il maestro dei novizi gesuiti. Sette anni dopo, a Lecce, crea un collegio al quale si dedicherà fino alla morte. Papa Pio XII lo proclamerà santo nel 1947. (Avvenire)

Patronato: Lecce

Etimologia: Bernardino = ardito come orso, dal tedesco

Martirologio Romano: A Lecce, san Bernardino Realino, sacerdote della Compagnia di Gesù, che rifulse per carità e bontà e, rigettati gli onori mondani, si dedicò alla cura pastorale dei prigionieri e degli infermi e al ministero della parola e della penitenza.

Diventa patrono di una città addirittura da vivo. Mai vista una cosa simile e con tanta solennità. Siamo a Lecce, nell’estate del 1616: il padre gesuita Bernardino Realino sta morendo, 42 anni dopo esservi arrivato. I reggitori del Municipio lo vanno allora a visitare “in corpo”, ossia tutti insieme, in forma ufficiale. 

E gli fanno la sbalorditiva richiesta di voler essere il protettore della città di generazione in generazione, per sempre. Il moribondo acconsente, tranquillo e lieto. D’altra parte è già amico, consigliere, soccorritore dei cittadini – è già loro “patrono” – da più di quattro decenni. Anche se non è leccese, e nemmeno pugliese. 

E’ emiliano, nato in una famiglia illustre di Carpi, che per i suoi primi studi gli faceva venire i maestri in casa, e poi l’ha mandato all’Accademia modenese, all’epoca uno dei più illustri centri culturali d’Italia. Negli studi lo attira tutto: la letteratura classica (ci è giunto un suo commento in latino a Catullo) e successivamente a Bologna la filosofia, poi ancora la medicina. Infine, all’età di 26 anni, si laurea in diritto civile e canonico. 

Suo padre è un collaboratore del cardinale Cristoforo Madruzzo, che come vescovo di Trento è stato il “padrone di casa” del Concilio famoso, e uno dei protagonisti; e che dal 1556 è governatore di Milano per conto del re Filippo II di Spagna. Sotto la sua protezione, il dotto Bernardino si avvia per la strada dei “pubblici uffici”. Comincia facendo il podestà a Felizzano Monferrato, poi va ad Alessandria come “avvocato fiscale” (una sorta di procuratore della Repubblica). Dopo altri incarichi in Piemonte, passa al servizio del governo vicereale in Napoli, anch’essa città soggetta alla Spagna col suo regno. 

Qui però la sua carriera s’interrompe. Bernardino Realino frequenta i Gesuiti da poco giunti in città e poi decide di essere uno di loro, abbandonando codici e carriera. Lo accoglie nel 1564 Alonso Salmeron, uno degli iniziatori della Compagnia di Gesù con Ignazio di Loyola. 

Nel 1567 Bernardino è ordinato sacerdote e diventa il maestro dei novizi gesuiti. Sette anni dopo, a Lecce, crea un collegio al quale si dedicherà fino alla morte. Ma insieme si dedica alla gente di Lecce, ricchi e poveri, istruiti e ignoranti, tutti sbalorditi per la sua irriducibile pazienza nell’occuparsi di situazioni, necessità, miserie, a cui s’ingegna di provvedere con un dinamismo che ha del prodigioso: tant’è che gli si attribuiscono vari miracoli già da vivo. 

Quando poi il male lo colpisce, è naturale per la municipalità fare quel passo inaudito e bellissimo, chiedendo a un morente aiuto e protezione anche oltre questa vita. E per Bernardino è naturalissimo rispondere di sì, con le estreme forze. Fatta questa promessa, si spegne a 86 anni. Papa Pio XII lo proclamerà santo nel 1947.

Autore: Domenico Agasso