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Blessed Bernard Of Quintavalle

Blessed

Blessed Bernard Of Quintavalle

Feast Day: July 10

Death: January 1, 1243
Blessed Bernard of Quintavalle, also known as Bernard of Assisi, Bernardo, or the First Fruits of the Minor Orders, was born around 1175 in Assisi, Italy. He belonged to the wealthy nobility of Assisi and received a comprehensive education, studying both civil and canon law at the prestigious University of Bologna.
In 1198, Bernard joined the forces of the Fourth Crusade and participated in the military campaigns. However, upon returning to Assisi, he began to feel a spiritual awakening and sought a deeper meaning in life. It was during this period that Bernard came into contact with Saint Francis of Assisi, who would become his spiritual mentor and guide.
In 1208, Bernard encountered Saint Francis and was deeply moved by his radical commitment to poverty and devotion to God. Inspired by Francis' example, Bernard embraced a life of simplicity and selflessness, relinquishing all his wealth and material possessions. He redistributed his wealth to widows, orphans, monasteries, pilgrims, and hospitals, practicing a profound act of charity.
As one of the earliest followers of Saint Francis, Bernard accompanied him to Rome in 1209. Their purpose was to seek the approval of Pope Innocent III for the Franciscan Rule. On April 16, 1209, the Pope granted his endorsement, and the Franciscan Order was officially recognized. Bernard played a significant role in this historic event.
Bernard then dedicated his efforts to spreading the message of Franciscan spirituality to various cities in Italy. He worked diligently in Florence to promote the values of poverty, humility, and compassion. In 1211, he extended his mission to Bologna, where he tirelessly preached and shared the teachings of Saint Francis, particularly among the affluent citizens.
Throughout his life, Bernard embraced a life of itinerant ministry, traveling extensively to bring the Franciscan message to different places. He accompanied Saint Clare of Assisi on her journey to avoid being forcibly taken by her family and "deprogrammed." Bernard also joined Brother Giles on a trip to Spain, aiming to establish the Franciscan Order in that region. His efforts were fruitful, and he served as the Franciscan provincial for Spain from 1217 to 1219.
Later, Bernard spent several years preaching in Siena, Italy, from 1241 to 1243, leaving a lasting impression on the local community through his sermons and teachings.
Blessed Bernard of Quintavalle died sometime between 1243 and 1246 in Assisi, Italy, of natural causes. He was laid to rest in the lower basilica of Saint Francis in Assisi, where his tomb remains a site of veneration and pilgrimage.
Though not officially recognized by the Church as a saint, Bernard of Quintavalle is remembered as a faithful and dedicated companion of Saint Francis, embodying the essential values of poverty, charity, and devotion. His selfless acts of compassion and his commitment to spreading the Franciscan message continue to inspire believers to this day.