Bernard of Clairvaux is a French saint whom Pope Pius VIII bestowed the title “Doctor of the Church”—a recognition that is only given to saints who made a significant contribution to theology or doctrine through research, study, or writing. He founded Claire Vallée (now known as Clairvaux), a monastery in the medieval town of Bar-sur-Aube in France.
A devout Catholic and proud Marian devotee, Bernard was active in preaching an immediate faith that had the Blessed Virgin Mary as an intercessor. (Read: 3 Miraculous Events in History That Are Attributed to Mama Mary) During his time, Bernard was also an esteemed leader of the Catholic Church who took part in several events in religious history.
In 1130, after the death of Pope Honorius II, Bernard was selected as a member of the national council of French bishops. In there, he performed the responsibility of mediating the conflict that arose between the candidates for papacy. In 1139, Bernard once again became part of a religious conflict after he assisted at the Second Council of the Lateran where he denounced the teachings of Peter Abelard to the pope. When the matter was settled, Bernard saw one of his disciples elected as Pope Eugene III. (Read: The 500-Year History of Catholicism in the Philippines)
After 40 years of serving the Church, Bernard died at age 63. He was canonized by Pope Alexander III in January 1174 and was given the title “Doctor of the Church” by Pope Pius VIII in 1830. His feast day is celebrated today, August 20.
Prayer by St. Bernard of Clairvaux
Run, hasten, O Lady, and in your mercy help your sinful servant, who calls upon you,
and deliver them from the hands of the enemy. Who will not sigh to you? We sigh with love and grief, for we are oppressed on every side.
How can we do other than sigh to you, O solace of the miserable, refuge of outcasts, ransom of captives? We are certain that when you see our miseries, your compassion will hasten to relieve us. O our Sovereign Lady and our Advocate, commend us to your Son.
Grant, O blessed one, by the grace which you have merited, that he who through you was graciously pleased to become a partaker of our infirmity and misery, may also through your intercession, make us partakers of his happiness and glory. Amen.
St. Bernard, Pray for Us…
Prayer from daily-prayers.org.