Abbot and Doctor of the Church (1090-1153)
+ Bernard was born near Dijon, France, and entered the Cistercian abbey of Citeaux in 1111.
+ Chosen to serve as the first abbot of a new foundation at Clairvaux, Bernard was called upon to settle disputes between various Cistercian houses, to combat schisms threatening the Church, and entrusted with the task of promoting the Second Crusade. He came to regarded as one of the most influential spiritual and political forces of his time.
+ Remembered for his many theological and spiritual works, especially his eighty-six sermons on the Song of Songs.
+ Saint Bernard of Clairvaux died in 1153 and was canonized in 1174.
+ Honored as a Doctor of the Church in 1830, he was granted the title “Mellifluus Doctor” by Pope Pius XII who regarded his teachings as being “sweeter than honey.”
“Since love for God is gradually growing cold today in the hearts of many, or is even completely quenched, We feel that these writings of the “Doctor Mellifluus” should be carefully pondered; because from their content, which in fact is taken from the Gospels, a new and heavenly strength can flow both into individual and on into social life, to give moral guidance, bring it into line with Christian precepts, and thus be able to provide timely remedies for the many grave ills which afflict mankind.”—Pope Pius XII
Gracious God, O God, who made of the Abbot Saint Bernard a man consumed with zeal for your house and a light shining and burning in your Church, grant, through his intercession, that we may be on fire with the same spirit and walk always as children of light. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
(from The Roman Missal)
Saint profiles prepared by Brother Silas Henderson, S.D.S.Access our archives of daily saint biographies here