BERNARD OF CORLEONE, OFMCap
St. Bernard is our model and intercessor in the practice of meekness, controlling our temper and avoiding misplaced anger in striving to live as Lourdesian peace-makers and Gospel Brothers/Sisters.
Bernard Latini whose baptismal name was Philip was born at Corleone in Sicily, Italy in the year 1605. As a young soldier and an expert swordsman, he was quarrelsome and violent-tempered who was quick to challenge to a duel those who offended him or the causes he believed in. But in one duel, Philip almost killed his opponent prompting him to seek refuge in the Capuchin Franciscan convent of Palermo where he experienced a radical conversion and repentance for his previous life. Eventually, he sought admission to the Capuchins as a lay brother and on December 1632 entered their novitiate where he received the order’s habit and the name “Bernardo da Corleone”. He inflicted harsh penances on himself such as flagellation and sleeping only for three hours a night on a narrow board with a block of wood under his head for pillow. Bernard worked long hours and had a special concern for the sick; he ended up growing into a man known for his gentleness and compassion. He died in 1667, and was beatified by Pope Clement XII on May 15, 1767. St. John Paul II canonized him on June 10, 2001.