Bernard Tolomei, Bl.
BERNARD TOLOMEI, BL.
Founder of the Olivetan Benedictines; b. Siena, May 10, 1272; d. Siena, August 20, 1348. As a youth, Bernard wanted to become a religious, but could not obtain his father's consent. He served in the armies of King Rudolph I, studied law, and became podestà (magistrate) of Siena. In 1313, with two companions, he withdrew into solitude at Accona, and in 1319 Bishop Guido of Arezzo gave the little community a white habit and the Benedictine Rule. At Accona, Bernard founded the monastery of Our Lady of Monte Oliveto, from which developed the strongly centralized Olivetan Benedictine Congregation (see bene dictines, olivetan). The primitive penitential observance exercised a strong appeal and for a while the institute grew rapidly. Bernard died caring for victims of the Black Death.
Feast: August 21.
Bibliography: s. m. avanzo, Fratello Bernardo: "vester sum totus" (Siena 1990). a. donatelli, Il beato Bernardo Tolomei (Siena 1976); Giovanni Bernardo Tolomei, padre e maestro di monaci (Siena 1977). p. lugano, "La causa … B. Bernardo…," Rivista Storica Benedettina 17 (1926) 204–289. b. heurtebize, Dictionnaire d'histoire et de géographie ecclésiastiques, ed. a. baudrillart, et al. (Paris 1912–) 8:728–730. p. schmitz, Histoire de l'ordre de Saint-Benoît, 7 v. (Maredsous 1942–56) 3:22–23. a. butler, The Lives of the Saints, rev. ed. h. thurston and d. attwater (New York 1956) 3:379–380.
[a. g. biggs]