St. Berard was born at Carbro, Umbria, Italy. He became a Franciscan monk at the time of St. Francis in 1213. He spoke Arabic.
St. Francis sent him and other Franciscans to preach to Muslims in Morocco, (Peter Otho, Accursius, and Adjutus). When they arrived they began preaching in the marketplace. They were immediately arrested and told to stop. They refused which resulted in them being beaten.
After refusing to renounce Christ, the sultan beheaded them on January 16, 1220. They are believed to be the first Franciscan martyrs. After viewing their relics, Anthony of Padua decided to join the Franciscans.
St. Berard was canonized in 1481 by Pope Sixtus IV.
Watch, dear Lord, with those who wake
or watch or weep tonight, and give your angels
charge over those who sleep. Tend your sick ones,
O Lord Jesus Christ, rest your weary ones,
bless your dying ones, soothe your suffering ones,
shield your joyous ones,
and all for Your love’s sake.
Quote of St. Augustine: Feast day August 28
January is the Month of the Holy Name