Pictorial Thought for Today

Pictorial Thought for Today

May 20 - St Bernardine of Siena (1380-1444)

Summary of St Bernardine: a Franciscan preacher and effective reformer of the 14/15th century.

There are some beautiful frescoes by Pinturichio (end 15th century) of the life of St Bernardine and the great Italian Renaissance painter Giotto. c/f image below

Patrick Duffy tells his story.

Early Life of Service
St Bernadine by GiottoBorn at Massa Maritima, near Siena, Italy, where his father was governor, Bernardine was left an orphan at six. He was brought up by his aunt and given a broad education in grammar, rhetoric, canon law and theology. When the organisation in the city of Siena broke down during the plague, he and some companions took charge of the local La Scala hospital. Subsequently he nursed his bed-ridden aunt until she died.

Joined the Friars Minor
ernardine joined the Friars Minor in 1402 and later transferred to the Observant Franciscans (stricter poverty and more preaching) at Colombaio, near Siena. He also served at Fiesole near Florence.

St Bernaine by Pinturichio

Effective Itinerant Preacher
In 1417 Bernardine appeared as a spectacular preacher in Milan and from then on travelled all over Italy, especially in the kingdom of Naples, always on foot, preaching in the open air. He advocated penance and voluntary poverty in the spirit of St Francis but he is best remembered for his devotion to the Holy Name of Jesus. At the end of his sermons he would hold up a tablet or plaque on which the letters IHS (Greek capitals of the first three letters of the name of Jesus) were engraved and surrounded by rays of light. He used every trick of the rhetorical trade to move his hearers his listeners to both laughter and tears. He had enormous influence. He especially attacked the practice of usury. He also denounced the wars between the city states of Italy, the Guelph states supporting the Pope and Ghibelline states supporting the emperor, as the basic evil of the age. He preached vigorously against sodomy and wrote some works of theology and devotion.

On Trial for Idolatry
Dominican theological opponent, Manfred of Vercelli, accused Bernardine of idolatry and he was called to appear before Pope Martin V. The Pope received him coldly and forbade him to preach or display his tablet or plaque until his conduct had been examined. Bernardine humbly submitted, his sermons and writings being handed over to a commission. His trial took place  in the Pope's presence at Bernadine 3St. Peter's. St John Capistrano spoke in the Bernardine's defence. The charges against Bernardine were shown to be malicious and foolish and not only was the saint's teaching justified and commended, but Pope Martin urged him to preach in Rome. He was also offered three episcopal sees in turn - Siena, Ferrara and Urbino - all of which he declined.

Vicar General of the Observant Franciscans 1437-43
n 1437 Bernardine became the vicar general of the Observant Franciscans and there was a great growth in the numbers who joined - from 130 to 4,000 in his lifetime. He also was involved in setting up schools of theology and writing the statutes for the Observants to reform the order. He sent missionaries to different part of the Orient and was responsible for many ambassadors coming from there to the Council of Florence (1439-45).

Later Years and Death
n 1443 Bernardine resigned and went back to preaching around Italy, but now moved around on a donkey. He preached in his home town of Massa Maritima on 50 consecutive days. He then set out for Naples, preaching as he went, but died in 1441 at Aquila, where he was buried and became famous for his miracles. Six years later in 1450 Pope Nicholas canonised him. There are some beautiful frescoes of his life by Pinturichio (end 15th century) in the Church of Santa Maria in Aracoeli in Rome.
Liturgical Readings for: Monday, 20th May, 2024

The Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of the Church

From he cross, Jesus entrusted Mary to his disciples as their mother and his disciples to her as her children.


A reading from the Book of Genesis  3:9-15, 20
She was the mother of all those who live.

I heard the sound of you in the garden, he replied, I was afraid because I was naked, so I hid.'
'Who told you you were naked? The Lord asked.
'Have you been eating of the tree I forbade you to eat.'
The man replied,
'It was the woman you put with me: she gave me some fruit from the tree and I eat it.

'Then the Lord said to the woman, 'Why did you do that?
The woman replied, 'The snake tempted me and I ate.'
Then the Lord God said to the snake,
'Because you have done this,  accursed be you of all animals  wild and tame!
On your belly you will go and on dust you will feed as long as you live.
I shall put enmity between you and the woman and your offspring and hers: it will bruise your head and you will strike it's heal.'

The man named the woman 'Eve' because 'she was the mother of all those who live.'

The Word of the Lord             Thanks be to God


Alternative First Reading
A reading from the Acts of the Apostles 1:12-14
With one heart they all joined constantly in prayer including Mary.

So from the Mount of Olives, as it was called, they went back to Jerusalem, a short distance away, no more than a sabbath walk: and when they reached the city thy went to the upper room where they were staying: there with Peter and John, James and Andrew, Philip and Thomas, Bartholomew and Matthew. James, son of Alphaeus and Simon the zealot and Jude son of James.

With one heart all these joined constantly in prayer, together with some women, including Mary, the mother of Jesus, and with his brothers.

The Word of the Lord             Thanks be to God

Responsorial Psalm:         87: 1-2, 3, 5, 6-7 Rv 3
Response                               God speaks of your glory, city of God                       

With its foundations on the holy mountains, The Lord loves his city,
he prefers the gates of Sion to any dwelling place in Jacob             Response
'I number Rahab and Babalon among those who acknowledge;
look at Tyre, Philistia Ethiopia, so and so was born there.'             Response
But of Zion it will be said, 'Everyone was born there,'
her guarantee is the Most High.                                                            Response
Then Lord in his register of peoples will note against each, 'Born there',
princes no less than native born: all make their home in you.       Response


The Lord be with you.                          And with your spirit
A reading from the holy Gospel according to John     19:25-34          Glory to you, O Lord.
Near the cross of Jesus stood his mother

Near the cross of Jesus stood his mother and his mother's sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary of Magdala. Seeing his mother and the disciple he loved standing near her,
Jesus said to his mother, 'Woman, this is your son.'
Then to the disciple he said, 'This is your mother'.
And from that moment the disciple made a place for her in his home. After this, Jesus knew that everything had now been completed, and to fulfil the scripture perfectly he said:
'I am thirsty'.
A jar-full of vinegar stood there, so putting a sponge soaked in the vinegar on a hyssop stick they held it up to his mouth. After Jesus had taken the vinegar he said,
'It is accomplished'; and bowing his head he gave up his spirit.

It was Preparation Day, and to prevent the bodies remaining on the cross during the sabbath - since that sabbath was a day of special solemnity - the Jews asked Pilate to have the legs broken and the bodies taken away. Consequently the soldiers came and broke the legs of the first man who had been crucified with him and then of the other.
When they came to Jesus, they found he was already dead.

The Gospel of the Lord.                Praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ.

Gospel Reflection     Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of the Church          John 19:25–34

Pope Francis inserted the Memorial of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of the Church into the church’s liturgical calendar, to be celebrated on the Monday after the feast of Pentecost. The feast of Pentecost celebrates the birth of the church and to-day’s feast celebrates Mary as Mother of the Church. According to Luke in the Acts of the Apostles, Mary was present at Pentecost when the Holy Spirit came down upon the disciples. According to John, in today’s gospel reading, Mary was present at the foot of the cross as Jesus gave up his spirit, in the sense of his bodily spirit, but also the Holy Spirit. In our gospel reading, the only male disciple at the foot of the cross is the disciple whom Jesus loved, often referred to as the beloved disciple. He is never given a name in this gospel of John, perhaps to encourage us all to place our own names upon him. The beloved disciple represents us all, because we are all beloved disciples. What Jesus said to his disciples at the last supper in this gospel of John, he says to disciples in every generation, ‘As the Father has loved me, so I have loved you’.

The beloved disciple stands in for us all at the foot of the cross, and Jesus’ words to this disciple are addressed to us all, ‘This is your mother’, and Jesus’ words to his mother relate to us all, ‘Woman, this is your son (or daughter)’. Jesus shares his mother with all his disciples, making himself a brother to us all. We are all invited to relate to Mary as our spiritual mother, as one who can lead us to her Son and help to keep us open to the promptings of the Holy Spirit in our lives. Jesus gives us Mary as a wonderful spiritual resource. As she stood by the cross as her Son was dying, so she stands by us as we travel the way of the cross in its various forms. As she joined in prayer with the disciples prior to Pentecost, so she prays with us and for us. It is with confidence that we can turn to her, saying, ‘Pray for us, sinners, now and at the hour of our death’.


The Scripture Readings are taken from The Jerusalem Bible, published 1966 by Darton, Longman & Todd Ltd. and used with the permission of the publishers.  http://dltbooks.com/
The Scripture Reflection is made available with our thanks from his book Reflections on the Weekday Readings 2024: The Word is near to you, on your lips and in your heart by Martin Hogan and published by Messenger Publications 2022/23, c/f www.messenger.ie/bookshop/

Liturgical Readings for: Monday, 20th May, 2024

Sorry, but we do not have the Irish text for today's Mass - editor.


Liturgical Readings for: Sunday, 26th May, 2024

The  Most Holy Trinity Sunday

At the Last Supper, Christ explained to the Apostles that he could not teach them everything because they were not, during his lifetime, sufficiently receptive. The Holy Spirit will be charged with continuing Christ’s work for all the days of the future Church. It is the love of the Father that gives us his Son, while the Holy Spirit is ever leading us to know more of the truth.


Trinity 1 A reading from the Book of  Deuteronomy      4:32-34. 39-40
The Lord is God indeed, in heaven above as on earth beneath, he and no other.

Moses said to the people:
'Put this question, then, to the ages that are past, that went before you, from the time God created man on earth: Was there ever a word so majestic, from one end of heaven to the other? Was anything ever heard? Did ever a people hear the voice of the living God speaking from the heart of the fire, as you heard it, and remain alive? Has any god ventured to take to himself one nation from the midst of another by ordeals, signs, wonders, war with mighty hand and outstretched arm, by fearsome terrors - all this that the Lord your God did for you before your eyes in Egypt?

Understand this today, therefore, and take it to heart: the Lord is God indeed, in heaven above as on earth beneath, he and no other. Keep his laws and commandments as I give them to you today, so that you and your children may prosper and live long in the land that the Lord your God gives you for ever.'

The Word of the Lord.         Thanks be to God

Responsorial Psalm      Ps 32
Response                            Happy the people the Lord has chosen as his own.

1. The word of the Lord is faithful and all his works to be trusted.
The Lord loves justice and right and fills the earth with his love.                     Response

2. By his word the heavens were made, by the breath of his mouth all the stars.
He spoke; and they came to be. He commanded; they sprang into being.      Response

3. The Lord looks on those who revere him, on those who hope in his love,
to rescue their souls from death, to keep them alive in famine.                         Response

4. Our soul is waiting for the Lord. The Lord is our help and our shield.
May your love be upon us, O Lord, as we place all our hope in you.                 Response


A reading from the letter of St Paul to the Romans             8:14-17
You received the spirit of sons, and it makes us cry out, 'Abba, Father.

holy spirit comesEveryone moved by the Spirit is a son of God. The spirit you received is not the spirit of slaves bringing fear into your lives again; it is the spirit of sons, and it makes us cry out, 'Abba, Father!' The Spirit himself and our spirit bear united witness that we are children of God. And if we are children we are heirs as well: heirs of God and coheirs with Christ, sharing his sufferings so as to share his glory.

The Word of the Lord            Thanks be to God

Gospel Acclamation             Apoc 1-8
Alleluia, alleluia!
Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit,
The God who is, who was, and who is to come.


The Lord be with you              And with your spirit.
A reading from the holy Gospel according to Matthew     28:16-20  Glory to you, O LordHoly-Trinity2
aptise them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.

The eleven disciples set out for Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had arranged to meet them. When they saw him they fell down before him, though some hesitated. Jesus came up and spoke to them.
He said,
'All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go, therefore, make disciples of all the nations; baptise them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teach them to observe all the commands I gave you.
And know that I am with you always; yes, to the end of time.'

The Gospel of the Lord.           Praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ.

 For homily resources for this Sunday's Gospel click here:  https://www.catholicireland.net/sunday-homily/

Taken from THE JERUSALEM BIBLE, published and copyright 1966,  by Darton, Longman and Todd Ltd and Doubleday, a division of Random House Inc, and used by permission of the publishers.
Liturgical Readings for: Sunday, 26th May, 2024



Sliocht as Leabhar Deotranaimí     4:32-34. 39-40
Is é an Tiarna is Dia dáiríre ar neamh thuas agus ar talamh thíos; níl ann ach é.

Trinity 1  Dúirt Maois leis an bpobal
Óir, cuir an cheist seo dá bhrí sin chun na n-aos a d’imigh tharainn agus a bhí romhat, ón lá a chruthaigh Dia an duine ar talamh: An raibh briathar riamh chomh maorga ó cheann ceann neimhe? Ar chualathas riamh a leithéid? Ar chuala aon chine riamh guth Dé [bheo] ag labhairt ó chroí na tine, mar a rinne tusa, agus iad a mhaireachtáil? Ar thug aon Dia riamh faoi chine a ghabháil chuige féin ó chrioslach cine eile, le profaí, le comharthaí, le hiontais, le cogadh, le láimh láidir agus le géag ar tinneall? – na nithe sin go léir a rinne an Tiarna daoibhse, os comhair bhur súl san Éigipt.

Tuig é seo inniu dá bhrí sin agus ding i do chroí é: Is é an Tiarna is Dia dáiríre ar neamh thuas agus ar talamh thíos; níl ann ach é. Coimeád a reachta agus a aitheanta dá bhrí sin mar a thugaim duit iad inniu i dtreo go mbeidh conách ort féin agus ar do shliocht, agus saol fada agat sa tír atá á thabhairt duit go brách ag an Tiarna do Dhia.”

Briathar an Tiarna                  Buíochas le Dia

 Salm le Freagra                 Sm 32
Freagra                                Is méanar don phobal a roghnaigh an Tiarna dó féin
1. Is dílis é briathar an Tiarna, agus is iontaofa a obair uile.
Is ionúin leis an chóir is an ceart; tá an talamh lan de bhuanghrá an Tiarna.                                    Freagra

2. Lena bhriathar a rinneadh na flaithis, Ie hanáil a bhéil na réaltaí go léir.
Labhair sé, agus tharla ann iad. D'ordaigh sé agus rinneadh amhlaidh.                                              Freagra

3. Feach, tá súile an Tiarna ar lucht a eaglaithe, orthu sin a chuireann a ndóchas ina bhuanghrá,
chun go bhfuadódh sé a n-anamacha ón mbás is go gcothódh sé iad in am an ghorta.                    Freagra

4. Bíonn ar n-anam ag feitheamh leis an Tiarna: is é sin árgcabhair is ár sciath.
Tabhair dúinn do bhuanghrá, a Thiarna, de réir an dóchais a chuirimid ionat.                                 Freagra

Sliocht as Litir Naomh Pól chuig na Romanaigh        8:14-17holy spirit comes
Fuair sibh spiorad na clainne trína nglaoimid Abba nó Athair ar Dhia.

Mar an mhuintir a mbíonn Spiorad Dé á dtreorú is clann ag Dia iad. Óir, an spiorad a fuair sibh ní spiorad na daoirse é chun eagla a chur oraibh athuair ach spiorad na clainne trína nglaoimid “Abba! Athair.” Dearbhaíonn an Spiorad féin dár spioradna gur clann Dé sinn; agus, más clann sinn, is oidhrí sinn chomh maith, oidhrí Dé agus comhoidhrí le Críost, ós rud é go bhfuilimid páirteach leis ina pháis, le hionchas a bheith páirteach leis ina ghlóir chomh maith.

Briathar an Tiarna                    Buíochas le Dia


Sliocht as Soiscéal naofa de réir Naomh Matha      28:16-20
Sular cruthaíodh an domhan, rugadh an Eagna.

San am sin d’imigh an t-aon deisceabal déag leo go dtí an Ghailíl, go dtí an sliabh a cheap Íosa mar ionad coinne dóibh, agus ar a fheiceáil dóibh d’umhlaigh siad dó, ach go raibh amhras ar chuid acu. Tháinig Íosa chucu agus labhair sé leo:

“Tá gach údarás tugtha domsa ar neamh agus ar talamh. Imígí dá bhrí sin, déanaigí deisceabail de na náisiúin uile, á mbaisteadh in ainm an Athar agus an Mhic agus an Spioraid Naoimh, ag múineadh dóibh gach ní atá ordaithe agam a choinneáil. Agus féach, táim in éineacht libh i gcónaí go dtí deireadh an tsaoil.”

Soiscéal an Tiarna. Moladh duit, a Chriost

Machtnamh ar Bhriathar Dé dia Domhnaigh An Tríonóid Naofa 

Ní Dia i bhfad amach, neamhpearsanta

San sean-aimsear, d'aontaigh gach éinne ar aon fhiocal go raibh Dia ann. Bhí creideamh de shaghas éigin i nDhia go foirleathan. San saol inniu, d'eirigh tuairmí creidimh faoi Dhia, seachas mar a bhí tráth---Dia nó ainaindagacht. Ní hamhlaidh dúinn inniu. Ní hamháin go bhfuil go leor daoine aindiaghach ann, ach tá an-chuid gné den saol nua-aimseartha ag cothú aindiaghais ionainn uile. In ár gcathracha móra, timpeallaithe le h’oibreacha lámh an duine, is féidir dearmad a dhéanadh faoi Dhia a chruthaigh áilleacht an nádúir. Braitheann daoine tostas Dé, i bhfolach agus fada ó’n ár radharc. Inniu táimid ag ceiliúradh féile na Tríonóide Naofa, an rúndiamhar faoi shaol pearsanta Dé. Insíonn an Scrioptúr dúinn ní amháin go bhfuil ár nDia pearsanta, ach go bhfuil Dia ann mar thrí phearsa, Athair, Mac agus Spiorad Naomh. Cé nach féidir linn míniú loighciúil a thabhairt ar a leithéid, cuireann ár gcreideamh ar ár gcumas, fiú más beag féin é, a thabhairt faoi ndear an caidreamh dinimiciúil atá ann i nádúr Dé.

Pádraig Ó Rúairí, cp,
Sliabh Argus, Átha Cliath.



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