Bernardino da Siena°

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BERNARDINO DA SIENA° (1380–1444), Franciscan friar, celebrated for his powerful oratory. One of the main themes urged by Bernardino in his sermons was the return of the Church to its original purity and the exclusion of any form of association between Christians and Jews. Hence, Bernardino ruthlessly upheld the application of anti-Jewish restrictions, including segregation, exclusion from money-lending, limitation of economic activities, and wearing of the Jewish badge. He preached throughout Tuscany, Umbria, and Abruzzi, culminating in inflammatory sermons delivered at Aquila in 1438, attended by King René of Anjou. Almost everywhere, Bernardino's sermons resulted in a deterioration of the relationships between Christians and Jews and often provoked disorders. The circle of disciples which formed around Bernardino assiduously propagated his anti-Jewish doctrine. Most important of those whom he influenced were Barnabas of Terni, Giacomo della Marca, and *Bernardino da Feltre.


V. Facchinetti, Bernardino da Siena (It., 1933); Roth, Italy, 162ff.; Milano, Italia, 162f., 684.

[Attilio Milano]