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 be 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.”
For prayer and reflection
“Love looks for no cause outside itself, no effect beyond itself. Its profit lies in its practice. I love because I love, I love that I may love. Love is a great thing so long as it continually returns to its fountainhead, flows back to its source, always drawing from there the water which constantly replenishes it.”—Saint Bernard of Clairvaux
On August 20, we also remember Saint Maria de Mattias. Inspired by a desire to evangelize and catechize, she established Sisters Adorers of the Blood of Christ in 1834. Saint Maria died in 1866 and was canonized in 2003.
The Benedictine monks of St. Bernard Abbey (Cullman, AL): www.stbernardabbey.com
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, God, for ever and ever. Amen.
(from The Roman Missal)
Saint profiles prepared by Brother Silas Henderson, S.D.S.