(Passionist Sign worn by Blessed Bernard Mary Silvestrelli)
Passionist Bernard Mary Silvestrelli was proclaimed by the Church as Blessed on 16th October 1988. His feast is celebrated on 9th December each year.
Father Fabiano Giorgini, C.P., writes –
Before leaving his family, Bernard had left a crucifix to his brothers and sisters as a memento and sign of what he hoped to do among the Passionists. The usual gift he later gave to people, as superior, was a small crucifix, also to remind them that he lived for Christ Crucified and prompt them, in turn, to love their crucified Lord. The whole texture of Passionist life served to remind him of the love which Jesus showed in his Passion.
As he told the novices, “All our observances have meaning, and help us to keep the Passion of Jesus in mind. We are told to go barefoot, clothed poorly and in black, bearing upon our hearts a sign which reads: The Passion of Jesus Christ. So we have these reminders to keep in perpetual mourning for our divine Redeemer which died for us, and carry about signs of his mortification in our own bodies.”
“You should see the same meaning in our uncomfortable hours of sleep, our rising in the night for matins, taking the discipline, frequent fasting and frugal diet – all these things have their place, like little alarm clocks to recall to our mind the labours and sorrows of our most beloved Jesus. The same applies to our detachment from the world, our solitude and silence, our recollection and prayer, all of them commended precisely in order to preserve in us the spirit of compunction, so vital for one who meditates on the Passion of Jesus and wishes to keep it engraved on his heart. In a word, if you examine the holy Rule you will find that it … leads to evangelical perfection through a special devotion to the Passion of our Lord Jesus Christ.” (Trattenimenti, pp. 277-278)
Bernard Mary Silvestrelli, Passionist by Fr. Fabiano Giorgini, C.P., p. 159