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Bernardine of Fossa, Blessed

Franciscan historian and ascetical writer (1420-1503)

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Bernardine of Fossa, BLESSED, of the Order of Friars Minor, historian and ascetical writer, b. at Fossa, in the Diocese of Aquila, Italy, in 1420; d. at Aquila, November 27, 1503. Blessed Bernardine 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 received his early training at Aquila and thence went to Perugia to study canon and civil law. On the 12th of March in the year 1445, he received the Seraphic habit from St. James of the Marches who was then preaching a course of lenten sermons at Perugia. From the time of his entrance into religion, Bernardine never ceased to advance in religious perfection, and the success which crowned his missionary labors throughout Italy, as well as in Dalmatia and Serigonia, bears witness to the eminent sanctity of his life. Bernardine fulfilled the office of provincial of the province of St. Bernardine and of the province of Dalmatia and Bosnia, and would have been chosen Bishop of Aquila had not his humility forbidden him to accept this dignity. His cult was approved by Leo XII, March 26, 1828. His feast is kept in the Franciscan Order on the 7th of November. The writings of Blessed Bernardine include several sermons and divers ascetical and historical opuscules; among the latter, the “Chronica Fratrum Minorum Observantie” deserves special mention. This interesting chronicle was first edited by Leonard Lemmens, O. F. M., from the autograph manuscript, and is prefaced by an interesting life of Blessed Bernardine and a critical estimate of his writings. It may also be mentioned that Bernardine is the author of the first life of his patron, St. Bernardine of Siena.

STEPHEN M. DONOVAN


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