In Pope Francis’ apostolic exhortation Gaudete et Exsultate (Rejoice and Be Glad), he enjoins us to embark on our Christian journey of holiness by embracing the ordinariness of everyday. Throughout his exhortation, Pope Francis calls out more than 40 saints who can assist us on our mission of Christian faith, and to teach us how to rejoice and be glad in all of life’s challenges, mysteries, and joys.
During the 34 weeks of Ordinary Time, we will introduce you to some of the saints mentioned in Pope Francis’ apostolic exhortation. #OrdinarySaints for #OrdinaryTime #HolyOrdinary
St. Bernard of Clairvaux
So let me ask you: Are there moments when you place yourself quietly in the Lord’s presence, when you calmly spend time with him, when you bask in his gaze? Do you let his fire inflame your heart? Unless you let him warm you more and more with his love and tenderness, you will not catch fire. How will you then be able to set the hearts of others on fire by your words and witness? If, gazing on the face of Christ you feel unable to let yourself be healed and transformed, then enter into the Lord’s heart, into his wounds, for that is the abode of divine mercy. The footnote says “BERNARD OF CLAIRVAUX, Sermones in Canticum Canticorum, 61, 3-5: PL 183:1071-1073.”
St. Bernard of Clairvaux was, perhaps, one of the busiest saints. He was an advisor of popes, preached at the Second Crusade, fierce defender of the faith, healer of the Great Schism, reformer of his monastic order, Scripture scholar, theologian, eloquent preacher, and more.
Born in 1090, in France, Bernard worked tirelessly his entire life to defend Catholicism and heal the hurt caused by heresy and the Great Schism. His efforts produced far-reaching results. But, Bernard knew that none this would be possible without hours of prayer and contemplation.
His writing and preaching were characterized by a deep devotion to the Blessed Mother. His sermons and books about Mary are still the standard for much of Marian theology.
St. Bernard died at Clairvaux on August 20, 1153. He was canonized by Pope Alexander III on 18 January 1174. Pope Pius VII declared him a Doctor of the Church in 1830. We celebrate his feast day August 20.