Sunday, 3 April 2016

Saint Bernard of Clairvaux -- A Loyal Son of Mary

Introduction :

The Feast of Saint Bernard of Clairvaux is on August 20.

"Virgin Mother humble yet the most exalted of all creatures" -- so begins the beautiful prayer to Our Lady that Dante ( in his Paradiso) placed on the lips of Saint Bernard of Clairvaux, a Cistercian Monk.

He was considered a towering personality in his time because of his extraordinary devotion to Mother Mary.

He was the Abbot for 38 years of Clairvaux in France, the Monastery that he founded and placed it under the special patronage of Our Lady.

It was not surprising that it became a beacon of spirituality throughout Europe.

He truly deserves the title given to him "Marian Doctor".

Saint Bernard was an excellent theologian of the mystical life and has written several "Treatises" on Our Lady that have had a great influence on the History of Mariology.

The immensely popular and fervent prayer composed by him was entitled "The Memorare" which in Latin means "Remember".

It is the heartfelt petition of an adamant believer addressed to Mother Mary certain to be heard.

It is such a beautiful prayer that the Liturgy of the Church has incorporated it among the "Marian Antthems" to be recited at the end of her last official prayer before one retires at the end of the day namely "Compline".

Saint Bernard's Sermons :

In his celebrated sermons entitled "Missus Est" Saint Bernard offers a commentary on the Anunciation.

It is truly a "Summa Mariologica".

In one of those sermons, The Marian Doctor explains this very important concept.

God in his omnipotence willed the mystery of the Incarnation. Our Salvation depended on the free assent of Mother Mary.

For this reason, Humanity is immensely indebted to Mary's "YES".

Conclusion :

Saint Bernard of Clairvaux when speaking about Mother Mary develops themes borrowed from Sacred Scripture and the writings of the Church Fathers.

For Example, He says if Christ is the "Living Water" that gives God's Grace to sinners, Mother Mary collaborates in a unique way in this salvific work.

This is what he says about Mother Mary  in particular. "Her Virginity is commendable but her Humility" is very important and necessary.

Saint Bernard, in his teachings has support of "Marian Theologians" of his century namely the "Twelfth Century" and we must follow in his footsteps.

Credits and References :

"Bernard : Mary's Cantor"
By Roberto Spataro
Pages 28-30
Don Bosco's Madonna, Mumbai
August 2010, Vol - 12 N0- 4


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