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Saint Bernard,
Abbot and Doctor of the Church
August 20th

Girolamo Pesce (Pesci)
Saint Bernard before Mary
1725-Oil on canvas, 330 x 205 cm
Hétkápolna, Vác

(1090-1153) Born in France, Bernard was a Cistercian abbot and legendary speaker who fought for the peace and unity of the Church against schism. He wrote many treatises on the Blessed Virgin and Jesus Christ, as well as many works of theology and ascetism. His life manifested a profound recognition of the importance of obedience in one's spiritual life.

Source: Daily Roman Missal, Edited by Rev. James Socías, Midwest Theological Forum, Chicago, Illinois ©2003


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.

First Reading: Ecclesiasticus 15:1-6
The man who fears the Lord will do this, and he who holds to the law will obtain wisdom. She will come to meet him like a mother, and like the wife of his youth she will welcome him. She will feed him with the bread of understanding, and give him the water of wisdom to drink. He will lean on her and will not fall, and he will rely on her and will not be put to shame. She will exalt him above his neighbors,
and will open his mouth in the midst of the assembly. He will find gladness and a crown of rejoicing, and will acquire an everlasting name.

Gospel Reading: John 17:20-26
Jesus raised His eyes to heaven and said: "Father, I do not pray for these only, but also for those who believe in Me through their word, that they may all be one; even as Thou, Father, art in Me, and I in Thee, that they also may be in Us, so that the world may believe that Thou hast sent Me. The glory which Thou hast given Me I have given to them, that they may be one even as We are one, I in them and Thou in Me, that they may become perfectly one, so that the world may know that Thou hast sent Me and hast loved them even as Thou hast loved Me. Father, I desire that they also, whom Thou hast given Me, may be with Me where I am, to behold My glory which Thou hast given Me in Thy love for Me before the foundation of the world. O righteous Father, the world has not known Thee, but I have known thee; and these know that Thou hast sent Me. I made known to them Thy name, and I will make it known, that the love with which Thou hast loved Me may be in them, and I in them."

Related Links on the Vatican Website:

Doctor Mellifluus, Encyclical of Pope Pius XII on St. Bernard of Clairvaux, the Last of the Fathers, May 24, 1953

Benedict XVI, General Audience, Saint Peter's Square. Wednesday, 21 October 2009, Saint Bernard of Clairvaux

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