Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Commemoration of Bernard of Clairvaux, Hymnwriter and Theologian

Today the Church remembers Bernard of Clairvaux. From the Treasury of Daily Prayer:

A leader in Christian Europe in the first half of the twelfth century AD, Bernard is honored in his native France and around the world. Born into a noble family in Burgundy in 1090, Bernard left the affluence of his heritage and entered the monastery of Citeaux at the age of twenty-two. After two years, he was sent to start a new monastic house at Clairvaux. His work there was blessed in many ways. The monastery at Clairvaux grew in mission and service, eventually establishing some sixty-eight daughter houses. Bernard is remembered not only for his charity and political abilities but especially for his preaching and hymn composition. The hymn texts "O Jesus, King Most Wonderful" and "O Sacred Head, Now Wounded" are part of the heritage of the faith left by St. Bernard.

A prayer in his honor:
O God, enkindled with the fire of Your love, Your servant Barnard of Clairvaux became a burning and shining light in Your Church. By Your mercy, grant that we also may be aflame with the spirit of love and discipline and may ever walk in Your presence as children of light; through Jesus Christ, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.


Captain Aunt Susan said...

What an amazing heritage we have in our hymns and litergy. When I was younger, I thought it just cam from a bunch of Luther time Lutherans. Amazing how so much of it comes from the earliest centuries of Christianity!

Max said...

Up until that time, The Virgin Mary had played a minor role and it was only with the rise of emotional Christianity in the eleventh century that she became the prime intercessor for humanity with the deity. Bernard played the leading role in the development of the Virgin cult.