“The Mystical Marriage of Blessed Fr. Bernardo de Hoyos y Sena, SJ”
By William Hart McNichols © www.fatherbill.org
Blessed Bernardo Francisco de Hoyos y Sena is an 18th-century Spanish priest who wrote vividly of his mystical gay marriage to Jesus. He was beatified in 2010 and his feast day is today (Nov. 29).
Bernardo (1711-1735) was 18 when he had a vision of marrying Jesus in a ceremony much like a human wedding. He described it this way:
Always holding my right hand, the Lord had me occupy the empty throne; then He fitted on my finger a gold ring.... “May this ring be an earnest of our love. You are Mine, and I am yours. You may call yourself and sign Bernardo de Jesus, thus, as I said to my spouse, Santa Teresa, you are Bernardo de Jesus and I am Jesus de Bernardo. My honor is yours; your honor is Mine. Consider My glory that of your Spouse; I will consider yours, that of My spouse. All Mine is yours, and all yours is Mine. What I am by nature you share by grace. You and I are one!”
(quoted from “The Visions of Bernard Francis De Hoyos, S.J.” by Henri Bechard, S.J.)
Bernardo’s vision inspired artist-priest William Hart McNichols to paint an icon of Bernardo’s wedding with Jesus.
“I was so taken with this profoundly beautiful account of Jesus’ mystical marriage with Bernardo, including all the symbols of a human wedding,” McNichols wrote.
|Bernardo de Hoyos|
Bernardo spent nine years in the Jesuit formation process and was ordained in January 1735. His pastoral ministry was cut short later that same year when he died of typhus on Nov. 29, 1735. Some call him a “boy saint” because he only lived to be 24. His dying words indicate that he felt the presence of his Spouse Jesus at the end. Bernardo’s last words were, “Oh, how good it is to dwell in the Heart of Jesus!”
After his death Bernardo’s reputation for holiness continued to grow, but church politics slowed his path to sainthood until recently. His beatification ceremony was held in April 2010 in the northwestern Spanish province of Valladolid, where Bernardo spent his entire life.
While the Catholic church refuses to bless same-sex marriages, the lives and visions of its own saints tell a far different story -- in which Christ the Bridegroom gladly joins himself in marriage with a man.
This post is part of the LGBT Saints series by Kittredge Cherry at the Jesus in Love Blog. Saints, martyrs, mystics, heroes, holy people, deities and religious figures of special interest to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) and queer people and our allies are covered on appropriate dates throughout the year.
It is also part of the Queer Christ series series by Kittredge Cherry at the Jesus in Love Blog. The series gathers together visions of the queer Christ as presented by artists, writers, theologians and others.
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