The liturgical feast of Saint Bernardine of Siena (+1444), a Franciscan preacher known to be a well-received preacher. He’s also known to have been devoted to the Holy Name of Jesus and was the promoter of the Name in every place he went. You may notice the symbol “IHS” in architecture, vestments, hosts, artwork: this is due to work of Bernardine of Siena. Othes like the Jesuits also popularized the use of IHS. Today’s saint was a moral reformer which got him noticed by many.
As Bernardine lay dying, so the story goes, the friars were singing the Divine Office, and the line that his soul left his body was, “Father, I have shown forth your Name to men, and I am coming to you.”
At the Office of Readings today for Saint Bernardine we hear him preach holy name of Jesus, “the glory of preachers.”
Bernardine’s mission was to proclaim the name of Jesus so that it may be heard and followed. Adherence to the Name shed light in a darkened world. Scripture reveals that it is God who calls us into his marvelous light, a people who once lived in darkness, but now live in light of the Lord; hence by baptism we walk in the Lord.
The name of Jesus, we are exhorted, must be preached by a worthy instrument so that it may be heard. The worthiness of the preacher is critical, otherwise an unworthy preacher is a detraction from the holiness of God. It is a sin against the virtue against religion, that is, God’s honor. As the Lord once said: he is to carry my name because “truth was a like a great candle shining out the name of Jesus”
Our Christian life is meant to bless His holy name and to proclaim salvation who is Jesus, our Savior. Recall, salvation is not a state of mind, or a thing, but a person. Hence, we believe that Jesus is nothing less than our personal salvation: at the name of Jesus every knee, including in heaven, will bend.
The great saints and religious orders have all had a profound respect and devotion to the Holy Name of Jesus. It is time to recover a deep respect for that which is held holy. It is hoped that as we prepare for death we, too, might have on our lips the Holy Name of Jesus.