BERNARD was born in a castle in Burgundy, France. At an early age he was sent to the best schools. He studied theology and Holy Scripture. After his mother's death, fearing the temptations of the world, he made up his mind to become a monk of the Cistercian Order. His superior sent him with twelve monks to start a new monastery called the Abbey of Clairvaux. Bernard was at once appointed abbot. Every day, Bernard asked himself this question: "Why have I come here?" He never allowed himself to forget that his main duty in this world was to lead a holy life and to save his soul.
The poor and the weak sought Bernard's protection; bishops, kings, and popes asked his advice.
Bernard started many monasteries. He is known for his writings which have earned him the title of "the Last of the Fathers and Doctor of Holy Church." He was devoted to the Blessed Virgin and composed the beautiful prayer called "The Memorare." Bernard died in the year 1153. His greatest devotion was to Jesus Crucified to whom he dedicated all his love.
O God, You blessed Your Church with St. Bernard, a man full of zeal for Your house, radiating brightness and ardent love. Through his intercession, grant that we may be animated by the same spirit and always walk as children of light.
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