Saint Berard (d.1220)

for January 16

Saint Berard was born to a family of Italian nobles. He became a Franciscan monk, and was welcomed into the order by Saint Francis of Assisi himself. Berard was part of a missionary party assigned by Saint Francis to travel to Morocco and preach to the Muslims there. When Berard and his companions arrived in Morocco, they started to preach the Good News in the marketplace. The group was instantly arrested and ordered to not only stop preaching, but to leave the country as well. When the party defied orders and continued to preach, the sultan commanded that they be severely beaten. The sultan then gave them several bribes to renounce their faith in Jesus Christ. When they rejected his offers, they were beheaded by the sultan himself. Bernard and his companions were the first Franciscans to be martyred. Saint Berard and his fellow monks were canonized in 1481.

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Saint Berard courageously proclaimed the Gospel message, even when he was arrested, threatened, and eventually martyred for his beliefs. Do you have the courage to proclaim the Gospel message, even when others threaten or mock you? Ask the Lord to bless you with the courage to proclaim the Good News through your words and actions.


Jesus, my model and my brother, sustain me as I try to courageously proclaim your Gospel message through my words and my life’s actions. (Taken from “Take Ten: Daily Bible Reflections for Teens.”)