Sunday, 20 August 2017

# Saints

Saint Bernard of Clairvaux

St Bernard in "A Short History of Monks and Monasteries" by Alfred Wesley Wishart (1900).

The 20th of August is the feast day of Saint Bernard of Clairvaux. He is the patron saint of  Cistercians, Burgundy, beekeepers, candlemakers, Gibraltar, Algeciras, Queens' College, Cambridge, Speyer Cathedral, Knights Templar.

The following is from Butler's Lives of the Saints:
BERNARD was born at the castle of Fontaines, in Burgundy. The grace of his person and the vigor of his intellect filled his parents with the highest hopes, and the world lay bright and smiling before him when he renounced it forever and joined the monks at Citeaux. All his brothers followed Bernard to Citeaux except Nivard, the youngest, who was left to be the stay of his father in his old age. "You will now be heir of everything," said they to him, as they departed. "Yes," said the boy; "you leave me earth, and keep heaven for yourselves; do you
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call that fair?" And he too left the world. At length their aged father came to exchange wealth and honor for the poverty of a monk of Clairvaux. One only sister remained behind; she was married, and loved the world and its pleasures. Magnificently dressed, she visited Bernard; he refused to see her, and only at last consented to do so, not as her brother, but as the minister of Christ. The words he then spoke moved her so much that, two years later, she retired to a convent with her husband's consent, and died in the reputation of sanctity. Bernard's holy example attracted so many novices that other monasteries were erected, and our Saint was appointed abbot of that of Clairvaux. Unsparing with himself, he at first expected too much of his brethren, who were disheartened at his severity; but soon perceiving his error, he led them forward, by the sweetness of his correction and the mildness of his rule, to wonderful perfection. In spite of his desire to lie hid, the fame of his sanctity spread far and wide, and many churches asked for him as their Bishop. Through the help of Pope Eugenius III., his former subject, he escaped this dignity; yet his retirement was continually invaded: the poor and the weak sought his protection; bishops, kings, and popes applied to him for advice; and at length Eugenius himself charged him to preach the crusade. By his fervor, eloquence, and miracles Bernard kindled the enthusiasm of Christendom, and two splendid armies were despatched against the infidel. Their defeat was only due, said the Saint, to their own sins. Bernard died in 1153. His most precious writings have earned for him the titles of the last of the Fathers and a Doctor of Holy Church.
Reflection.—St. Bernard used to say to those who applied for admission to the monastery, "If you desire to enter here, leave at the threshold the body you have brought with you from the world; here there is room only for your soul." Let us constantly ask ourselves St. Bernard's daily question, "To what end didst thou come hither?"

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Our Lady of Medjugorje

March 02, 2018 Message to Mirjana

Dear children, great are the works that the Heavenly Father has done in me, as He does in all those who love Him tenderly and who faithfully and devoutly serve Him. My children, the Heavenly Father loves you, and it is through His love that I am here with you. He is speaking to you. Why do you not desire to see the signs? Everything is easier alongside Him. Also, pain lived with Him is easier because faith exists. Faith helps in the pain, and pain without faith leads to despair. Pain lived and offered to God raises up. Did my Son not redeem the world through His painful sacrifice? As His mother I was with Him in the pain and suffering, as I am with all of you. My children, I am with you in life, in suffering, in pain, in joy and in love. Therefore, have hope. It is hope that makes you comprehend that life is there. My children, I am speaking to you, my voice is speaking to your soul, my heart is speaking to your heart. Oh, apostles of my love, how much my motherly heart loves you. How many things I desire to teach you. How my motherly heart desires that you be complete, and you can be complete only when your soul, body and love are united within you. I implore you as my children, pray much for the Church and her servants - your shepherds; that the Church may be such as my Son desires - clear as spring water and full of love. Thank you.