Saint Bernardino Realino

St. Bernardino Realino (1530–1616) was born in Italy to a noble family. He grew into an accomplished "Renaissance Man" of his day; he studied law and medicine, had a successful career as an attorney and judge, and served as the mayor of three cities. At the age of 34 he completed an eight-day retreat with Jesuit priests, and during this time he discerned a call to the religious life. He entered the Jesuit order and was ordained a priest in 1567. As a priest he preached, taught, and visited the sick and poor in the areas of Naples and Lecce. He was much loved and venerated by the people he ministered to, especially because of the miracles he performed. It was commonly believed among the people that he was a living saint. Even public scandal and civil strife were calmed due to his holy influence. While he was on his death bed, the city leaders of Lecce came to request of him that he become the official patron saint of their city once he entered heaven. After St. Bernardino's death, vials of his blood were kept for veneration, which were observed to liquefy and exhibit unusual phenomena for more than a century. St. Bernardino Realino's feast day is July 2nd.
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