August Doctors Europe Religious Saints

Saint Bernard of Clairvaux

Feast Day: August 20

Today we are feasting with… Saint Bernard of Clairvaux.

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Saint Bernard of Clairvaux

The Clear Valley of Saint Bernard

Bernard was born around the late eleventh century in France. When he was twenty, he joined a Cistercian Order, along with his five brothers and a few of his friends. In 1113, Bernard and about twelve others got permission to start a new monastery– which later became known as the Abbey of Clairvaux.

Bernard, as abbot of the new monestary, became very active in helping it thrive. Known for his wisdom, multiple popes in Rome would call Bernard away from his quiet abbey to seek his advice. He also aided in the healing of the anti-pope schism and silenced several heretics.

Pope Eugenius III inspired Bernard to arouse the courageous men of Europe to start the Second Crusade against the ambitious Muslims. Sadly, the crusade ended in failure due to greed and pride.

During the last years of his life, Bernard renounced the heretic, Gilbert de la Porree, whom claimed the Divinity of Christ was only a human concept. Bernard also wrote “Sermons on the Canticle of Canticles,” which is considered his greatest literary accomplishment.

Bernard died on August 20, 1153, at Clairvaux Abbey. He had done much to strengthen the Catholic Church and defend it from heresy. He is recognized as a Doctor of the Church.

Saint Bernard’s feast day is August 20. He is the patron of candlemakers.

Saint Bernard of Clairvaux, pray for us!

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