Friday, October 9, 2015


Blessed Bernard Scammacca,
Born 1430 in Catania, Sicily

Died 11 January 1487 of natural causes
fifteen years after his death he appeared in a vision to the prior in Catania and asked that his remains be moved to the house’s rosary chapel
during this movement a man was cured of paralysis by touching the relics

Beatified 1825 by Pope Leo XII (cultus confirmed)

Born of wealthy and pious parents, Bernard was given a good education. In spite of this good training, he spent a careless youth. Only after he was badly injured in a duel was he brought back to his senses. His long convalescence gave him plenty of time to think, and once he was able to go out of the house, he went to the Dominican convent of Catania and begged to be admitted to the order.

 Bernard, as a religious, was the exact opposite of what he had been as a young man. Now he made no effort to obtain the things he had valued all his life, but spent his time in prayer, solitude, and continual penance. There is little recorded of his life, except that he kept the rule meticulously, and that he was particularly kind to sinners in the confessional. Apparently, he did not attain fame as a preacher, but was content to spend his time in the work of the confessional and the private direction
of souls.

 One legend pictures Bernard as having great power over birds and animals. When he walked outside in the gardens, praying, the birds would flutter down around him, singing; but as soon as he went into ecstasy, they kept still, for fear they would disturb him. Once, the porter was sent to Bernard's room to call him, and saw a bright light shining under the door. Peeking through the keyhole, he saw a beautiful child shining with light and holding a book, from which Bernard was reading. He
hurried to get the prior to see the marvel.

 Bernard had the gift of prophecy, which he used on several occasions to try warning people to amend their lives. He prophesied his own death.

Blessed Bernard devoted himself with generous ardour to the relief of the bodily and spiritual needs of his neighbours. Whilst preaching to others he failed not to expiate the sins of his youth by the practice of severe austerities. He died A.D. 1486. Fifteen years later he appeared to the Prior of the Convent, and bade him remove his remains to a more honourable resting-place. This was accordingly done, and the body was found incorrupt. During the whole of the ceremony the church-bells, untouched by mortal hands, rang out with heavenly melody. Miracles of all kinds were worked at Blessed Bernard's tomb. A nobleman who had been cured through his intercession resolved to remove the sacred remains to his castle, and came by night to the Convent with a troop of armed men to carry out his design. But the servant of God would not allow his body to be removed from the Convent where he had lived and died. Appearing in the dormitory, he knocked at every door, telling the Friars that violent hands were being laid on his body in the church; and as they delayed obeying his summons, which they thought to be only a dream, he began to ring the great bell. Then the Brethren hurried to the church, where they found the tomb empty, and the sacred body lying at the door, surrounded by armed men who were vainly endeavouring to raise it from the ground. It had miraculously become so heavy that the robbers were unable to move it. They took to flight at the approach of the Friars, who had not the slightest difficulty in restoring the precious remains to their resting-place.

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