Saint Louis Bertrand

Dominican Missionary and Preacher

Saint Louis Bertrand

Saint Louis Bertrand was born in the year 1526, the oldest of the eight children of his good Christian parents, at Valencia in Spain.

He was in every way a model of modesty and obedience, and it was foreseen that God had some particular role for him. He devoted himself to the sick in the hospitals. He desired to enter the Order of Saint Dominic, but for some time could not obtain his parents’ permission.

Finally, in 1545, he became professed in the Dominican Order, then was ordained a priest in 1547 when he was only 21 years old, according to the desire of his Superiors. In 1551, at the age of twenty-five, he was made master of novices, and in this post he formed many great servants of God.

It is said that despite his strictness, he was so gentle that his chastisements were more agreeable to his novices than the favors of their best friends.

In 1560, when the plague broke out in Valencia, his Superiors, not wanting to lose him, sent him elsewhere for a time; he preached with great success and was endowed with the spirit of prophecy.

He continued his preaching when recalled to Valencia. In 1562 he obtained leave to embark for Carthagena in the American mission, and there converted vast multitudes to the Faith. He hoped to obtain the grace of martyrdom there, but God conserved his life.

He was favored with the gift of miracles, and, after praying for the gift to be understood without an interpreter, since one of those had disappointed him seriously, he preached in his mother tongue, Spanish, but was understood by all the natives of various tribes.

In his mission at Tubera he himself baptized 10,500 Indians, without counting those his companions baptized, and obliged them to burn their idols and the sites of their detestable sacrifices.

Often his gentleness charmed his worst enemies.

He preached also at Capicoa and Paluato, having established missions there.

He refused all remuneration; he brought down rain after a drought.

He was poisoned by some pagans who had suffered a reproach, but the poison did not harm him, and the barbarians were converted by the miracle.

He went to many other places, preaching and healing the sick; again he was poisoned without effect.

There was no one who did not consider him a Saint, sent for the benefit of the new continent.

After seven years he returned to Spain to plead the cause of the Indians, oppressed and given bad example by his own countrymen. He was not permitted, however, to return and labor among them.

He spent his remaining days preaching, laboring for the conversion of different cities, and again forming the novices of the Order at Valencia.

He was elected Prior of that convent, and never had a more charitable or more zealous Superior been seen there.

At length, after suffering from a long and painful illness, he was carried from the pulpit in the Cathedral at Valencia to the bed from which he never rose.

He died on the day he had foretold, October 9, 1581, at the age of 55 years.

(SOURCE: Les Petits Bollandistes: Vies des Saints, by Msgr. Paul Guérin (Bloud et Barral: Paris, 1882), Vol. 12;Little Pictorial Lives of the Saints, a compilation based on Butler’s Lives of the Saints and other sources by John Gilmary Shea (Benziger Brothers: New York, 1894).)


Jesus teaching at the Temple

“When Jesus had driven out a demon, some of the crowd said: “By the power of Beelzebul, the prince of demons, he drives out demons.”

Others, to test him, asked him for a sign from heaven.

But he knew their thoughts and said to them, “Every kingdom divided against itself will be laid waste and house will fall against house.

And if Satan is divided against himself, how will his kingdom stand? For you say that it is by Beelzebul that I drive out demons.

If I, then, drive out demons by Beelzebul, by whom do your own people drive them out?

Therefore they will be your judges.

But if it is by the finger of God that I drive out demons, then the kingdom of God has come upon you.

When a strong man fully armed guards his palace, his possessions are safe.

But when one stronger than he attacks and overcomes him, he takes away the armor on which he relied and distributes the spoils.

Whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with me scatters.”

When an unclean spirit goes out of someone, it roams through arid regions searching for rest but, finding none, it says, ‘I shall return to my home from which I came.’

But upon returning, it finds it swept clean and put in order.

Then it goes and brings back seven other spirits more wicked than itself who move in and dwell there, and the last condition of that person is worse than the first.”” – Luke 11:15-26.