St. Bernardine – A St. Paul of the 15th Century
St. Bernardine was from Siena, Italy and was ordained a Franciscan priest at the age of 24 in the year 1402. He took upon himself the poverty of the Franciscan Order and expressed an acute awareness for the needs of people of his time. He was known for his personal holiness and his seemingly endless energy and joyful vitality. The pope at the time compared Bernardine to a modern day St. Paul.
Before being ordained, the plague hit his hometown of Siena very hard. In this time of great difficulty, St. Bernardine offered to run the local hospital at the age of 20. He spent four months nursing the people who came for care. He did not succumb to the plague, but he was so exhausted from his hard work that he had a fever for several months afterwards.
A Franciscan Heart
St. Francis had given the charge to his order to preach about vice and virtue, punishment and glory. The great preacher of the 15th Century, St. Bernardine, did just that. Paganism had taken hold in many places as the result of the Renaissance return to Greco-Roman culture. This stirred up within the heart of St. Bernardine a desire to care for the physical and spiritual needs of the people.
St. Bernardine eventually became the General of the Friars of Strict Observance of the Franciscan Order. He pushed scholarship and a deep study of the law of the Church and the doctrines of the Faith. There were 140 friars in the community when he joined. Upon his death, there were 4,000. He gave his life to preaching and teaching, literally dying while traveling.
Overcoming Paganism and Division
As a prolific traveler and preacher, St. Bernardine saw clearly the paganism that had taken root once more in Italy. These many false gods and false beliefs were leading people astray. But, St. Bernardine knew well that “…there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved (Acts 4:12)” than the name of Jesus.
St. Bernardine had a great devotion to the Holy Name of Jesus. He devised a monogram for the Holy Name of Jesus: IHS, written in gothic script and emblazoned on a sun. These are the capital Greek letters: iota, eta, and sigma. They are the first three letters of the name of Jesus in Greek which is ΙΗΣΟΎΣ. Like other graphics that represent the name of Jesus or Christ, this is called a Christogram.
The Christogram was placed on a sun because there had been a resurgence in 15th Century Italy of sun worship. Byzantine Greeks had brought copies of the fourth-century Hymn to the Sun by Julian the Apostate, for example. The cult of Apollo needed to be replaced by the true and authentic worship of Jesus Christ, who alone is the sun that rises in the East and who is the only Son of the Father.
St. Bernardine would often exhibit this monogram devoutly at the end of his sermons to those listening. He also encouraged the faithful to place the monogram on their doorposts. At the time, there was deep political division between two groups: the Guelphs and the Ghibellines. St. Bernardine urged people to adopt the IHS rather than the banners of these two groups.
An Enduring Symbol for an Enduring Name
The IHS is therefore a symbol of peace, a symbol of orthodoxy, a symbol of fidelity to the Lord, and a powerful symbol to cling to Jesus and adore His Holy Name. The IHS would later be adopted by St. Ignatius of Loyola as the symbol for the Society of Jesus. Thus, the symbol has persisted from the time of the early Church to now.
More Catholic Resources
St. Padre Pio’s Communion Prayer St. Padre Pio’s Prayer To Say After Receiving Communion My past, O Lord, I entrust to your mercy. My present to your love. My future to your providence. More Resources On St. Padre Pio The Holiness and Sufferings of Padre Pio (Plus a Rare Peek Into His Life!) Pray, Hope […]
This post is not an article, but a part of our gallery of images. You can share this image in your social media or you can click the “Download” button and send it to your friends. We only ask you to share it in its original version, without editing it. Happy evangelization! ? A 7 […]
Steps For Making A Holy Hour Source: www.thegregorian.org More Adoration Resources 10 Surprising Things That Happen When You Go To Adoration More Often All Your Questions About Adoration Answered…What Is It? How Do I Go? What Do I Do? And More! Related content: Infographic: 4 Steps for Eucharistic Adoration A Saint’s Advice For When You […]
O Jesus, I pray for your faithful and fervent priests; for your unfaithful and tepid priests; for your priests laboring at home or abroad in distant mission fields; for your tempted priests; for your lonely and desolate priests; for your young priests; for your dying priests; for the souls of your priests in purgatory. But […]
Litany Of Trust | Sr. Faustina Maria Pia, Sister of Life From the belief thatI have to earn Your loveDeliver me, Jesus.From the fear that I am unlovableDeliver me, Jesus.From the false securitythat I have what it takesDeliver me, Jesus.From the fear that trusting Youwill leave me more destituteDeliver me, Jesus.From all suspicion ofYour words […]
I THIRST FOR YOU. It is true. I stand at the door of your heart, day and night. Even when you are not listening, even when you doubt it could be Me, I am there: waiting for even the smallest signal of your response, even the smallest suggestion of an invitation that will permit Me […]
This post is not an article, but a part of our gallery of images. You can share this image in your social media or you can click the “Download” button and send it to your friends. We only ask you to share it in its original version, without editing it. Happy evangelization! ? The Four […]
During Christmas, the King of Peace becomes a baby. 12 Children’s Books To Read For The 12 Days Of Christmas Why Was Mary Absent From The Original Nativity Scene? Why Does It Matter That Jesus Was “Wrapped In Swaddling Clothes”? Official Catholic Blessing For Your Christmas Tree Related content: The Meaning Of Christmas According To […]
This post is not an article, but a part of our gallery of images. You can share this image in your social media or you can click the “Download” button and send it to your friends. We only ask you to share it in its original version, without editing it. Happy evangelization! ? All Your […]
God gathered all his graces and called them “Mary” Five Feminine Virtues I Learned From the Joyful Mysteries Why Was Mary Absent From The Original Nativity Scene? Why Does It Matter That Jesus Was “Wrapped In Swaddling Clothes”? Related content: Nativity of Virgin Mary | Happy Birthday Christmas Reveals God’s Love For Humanity | Pope Francis […]
10 Ways Catholic Can Pray How To Pray A Novena – A Visual Step By Step Guide 50+ Of 2020’s Best Catholic Gifts 7 Postures Of Prayer To Engage Your Mind, Body, And Soul With God Related content: How To Measure Your Wealth | Catholic Inspiration Infographic: 8 Ways To Pray During Adoration God’s […]
Every year it is incredible to see the creativity that the Holy Spirit lavishes on the artists, designers, authors, and entrepreneurs featured in the Catholic-Link.org Catholic Christmas Gift Guide. It’s an absolute joy to put this list together because Catholic-Link desires to see these small Catholic businesses succeed in evangelizing through their craft. It is […]
We’ve compiled ALL of our favorite Catholic gifts for this year into one guide! This year we will select five of our email subscribers to win each category of gifts. If you’re not a subscriber, click here to make sure you have a chance to win. We thank each of these wonderful Catholic small businesses […]
We invite you to browse through our favorite gifts for your Catholic home! Remember, when you support these Catholic businesses you are helping Catholic families and ministries evangelize through their work. We thank each Catholic vendor featured on our Catholic-Link Gift Guide for all they do. Best Catholic Gifts For Your Home Mini Mary Garden […]
We invite you to browse through our favorite gifts for Catholic men. Though we would love for you to WIN these gifts, we encourage you to purchase some as well. Remember, when you support these Catholic businesses you are helping Catholic families and ministries evangelize through their work. We thank each Catholic vendor featured on […]
St. Teresa of Calcutta prayed the “Radiating Christ” prayer daily. It is thought to have been written by St. John Henry Newman. Radiating Christ Dear Jesus, help me to spread Thy fragrance everywhere I go. Flood my soul with Thy spirit and love. Penetrate and possess my whole being so utterly that all my life […]
The Veil Removed, produced by Greg Krajewski and RD Delgado, powerfully shows what happens during each and every Mass that takes place in Catholic Churches across the world. Take 5 minutes out of your day and watch this short video. You will never look at Mass the same way again! The Veil Removed “The angels […]
Catholic-Link is pleased to present the Ultimate Catholic Gift Guide and GIVEAWAY for another year. This list is better than ever before. Some of our classic favorites are back…because you can’t go wrong with AMAZING…and we’ve added new ideas too. The best part?! We’re giving away this ENTIRE list to one *Blessed* Catholic-Link email subscriber. […]
Do you have any Catholic Bible verses memorized? If we really believe in the power of the Word of God, we should make an effort to study it, understand it, and memorize it. It is a gift that we have been given to help us in our faith. It is very useful in the Christian life […]
When you wake up in the morning, get on your knees: One of the greatest means of salvation and one of the surest signs of predestination, is unquestionably, the devotion to the Most Blessed Virgin. All the holy doctors of the Church are unanimous in saying with St. Alphonsus of Liguori: “A devout servant of […]
The novena is a Catholic practice of prayer that’s done over the course of nine days. Its practice goes back to the time of the apostles. The first novena can be attributed to when they got together to pray, after the Ascension waiting for the coming of the Holy Spirit. How To Pray A Novena […]
The first time I visited the Blessed Sacrament, I was eight years old. I did it in the context of the preparation for my First Communion. The sister who was preparing us told us with much reverence and passion that inside the tabernacle was the door to Heaven. At eight, I took this explanation literally […]
For those who have had the experience of keeping watch over a sick person through the night, especially if it was a very close loved one, you know what it means to fight off sleep. You do everything in your power to stay awake; you use every ounce of strength; you draw on all your […]
We frequently complain about our lack of time, especially when it comes to having time to read. Usually, the problem is not time, but the way we organize our priorities throughout the day. Spiritual readings are an excellent way to take advantage of time and nourish our soul. Certainly, they require us to find an […]
Maybe, you’ve seen our posts about the benefits of Adoration or heard some of your Catholic friends talk about “going to Adoration,” but you still don’t really understand what that means. That’s ok! Though the practice of Adoration has been a part of the Catholic faith since the very beginning, it has experienced a revival […]