AUGUST 20 -- today's saintsgreenspun.com : LUSENET : Catholic : One Thread
Today, August 20, the Catholic Church honors, in a special way, the following friends of God, saints whose souls are now in heaven:
St. Bernard of Clairvaux (French Cistercian, Doctor of the Church, d. 1153)
St. Gobert (Belgian count, crusader, and monk, d. 1263)
St. Haduin (French bishop, c. 662)
St. Heliodorus (Persian [Iranian] martyr, d. 362)
St. Herbert Hoscam (English archbishop in Italy, d. 1180)
Bl. James Bell (English priest, martyred by hanging in 1584)
Bl. Maria de Mattias (Italian foundress of Adorers of the Blood of Christ, d. 1866)
St. Oswin (king of Deira in Northumbria, martyred 651)
St. Bernard of Clairvaux is closely associated with deep Marian devotion. Here is an excerpt from his writings:
"In dangers, in doubts, in difficulties, think of Mary, call upon Mary. Let not her name depart from your lips, never suffer it to leave your heart. And that you may obtain the assistance of her prayer, neglect not to walk in her footsteps. With her for guide, you shall never go astray. While invoking her, you shall never lose heart. So long as she is in your mind, you are safe from deception. While she holds your hand, you cannot fall. Under her protection you have nothing to fear. If she walks before you, you shall not grow weary. If she shows you favor, you shall reach the goal."
The prayer called the "Memorare" ["Remember"] is attributed to St. Bernard of Clairvaux:
"Remember, O most gracious Virgin Mary, that never was it known that anyone who fled to thy protection, implored thy help, or sought thy intercession, was left unaided. Inspired by this confidence, I fly unto thee, O Virgin of virgins, my mother. To thee I come, before thee I stand, sinful and sorrowful. O Mother of the Word Incarnate, despise not my petitions, but in thy mercy hear and answer me. Amen."
If you have anything to share about these holy people, please reply now -- biographical episodes, prayers through their intercession, the fact that one is your patron saint -- whatever moves you. If you are interested in one of these saints and want to find out more about him/her, please ask. Information is sometimes available on the Internet.
All you holy men and women, saints of God, pray for us.
God bless you.
-- J. F. Gecik (email@example.com), August 20, 2001
Please pardon my great enthusiasm for St. Bernard. One of my favorite non-scriptural religious passages of all time is the following meditation on the Annunciation by St. Bernard. The Church offers it in the Office of Readings in the Liturgy of the Hours:
"You have heard it said, O Virgin, that you will conceive and bear a son. You have heard that it will not be by man but by the Holy Spirit.
The angel awaits an answer. It is time for him to return to God who sent him. We too are waiting, O Lady, for your word of compassion. The sentence of condemnation weights heavily upon us.
The price of salvation is offered to you. We shall be set free at once if you consent. In the eternal Word of God we all came to be, and behold, we die. In your brief response we are to be remade in order to be recalled to life ...
Answer quickly, O Virgin. Reply in haste to the angel, or rather through the angel to the Lord. Answer with a word, receive the Word of God. Speak your own word, conceive the divine Word. Breathe a passing word, embrace the eternal Word.
Why do you delay, why are you afraid? Believe, give praise and receive. Let humility be bold, let modesty be confident. This is no time for virginal simplicity to forget prudence. In this matter alone, O prudent Virgin, do not fear to be presumptuous.
Though modest silence is pleasing, dutiful speech is now more necessary. Open your heart to faith, O blessed Virgin, your lips to praise, your womb to the Creator. See, the desired of all nations is at your door, knocking to enter. If he should pass by because of your delay, in sorrow you would begin to seek him afresh, the One whom your soul loves.
Arise, hasten, open. Arise in faith, hasten in devotion, open in praise and thanksgiving.
'Behold the handmaid of the Lord,' she says. 'Be it done to me according to your word.'"
-- J. F. Gecik (firstname.lastname@example.org), August 20, 2001.
-- David S (email@example.com), August 20, 2001.
You're welcome, David. You don't have to thank me. I'm enjoying myself. The deed is its own reward!
-- (firstname.lastname@example.org), August 20, 2001.
John: I found the following, and I am sure it is going to interest you:
The Memorare is a very popular Marian prayer that is sometimes attributed to St. Bernard of Clairvaux (1090-1153), Confessor, Abbot, and Doctor of the Church. While some of his writings do indeed echo the words of the Memorare, he did not in fact compose it. The prayer was first popularized not by St. Bernard of Clairvaux, but by another Bernard, namely Fr. Claude Bernard (1588-1641). More than likely the association of St. Bernard of Clairvaux's name with the prayer is a case of mistaken identity with Fr. Claude Bernard.
Fr. Claude Bernard, known as the "Poor Priest", zealously dedicated himself to the preaching and aiding of prisoners and criminals condemned to death. Trusting his charges to the care and intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Fr. Bernard employed the Memorare extensively in his work of evangelization to great effect. Many a criminal was reconciled to God through his efforts. At one time he had more than 200,000 leaflets printed with the Memorare in various languages so he could distribute the leaflets wherever he felt they would do some good.
Part of the reason Fr. Claude Bernard held the prayer in such high regard was because he himself felt that he had been miraculously cured by its use. In a letter to Queen Anne of Austria, wife of Louis XIII, he wrote that he was deathly ill once. In fear of his life he recited the Memorare and immediately began to get well again. Feeling unworthy of such a miracle, he attributed the cure to some unknown natural cause. Sometime later, Brother Fiacre, a discalced Augustinian, came to call upon Fr. Bernard. The good brother begged Fr. Bernard's pardon for disturbing him, but he desired to know how Fr. Bernard was getting along. Brother Fiacre then went on to say that the Virgin Mary had appeared to him in a vision, told him of Fr. Bernard's illness, told him how she had cured Fr. Bernard of it, and that he was to assure Fr. Bernard of this fact. Fr. Bernard then goes on to write in his letter that he was ashamed of his ingratitude in attributing the cure to natural causes, and asked for God's forgiveness in the matter.
Further evidence of association of the Memorare with Fr. Claude Bernard can be found in the Bibliotheque Nationale at Paris where 18 engraved portraits of this holy priest have the prayer engraved below the picture. The prayer there is basically identical in substance with the Memorare we have today and the heading simply says: ORAISON DU R. P. BERNARD A LA VERGE (Prayer of Rev. Fr. Bernard to the Virgin). In as much as some of these engravings are contemporary portraits of Fr. Bernard, his association with the prayer is very clear. It is easy to see how sometime after his death the Prayer of Fr. Claude Bernard became the Prayer of St. Bernard , and in most people's minds the Prayer of St. Bernard of Clairvaux.
While we have Fr. Claude Bernard to thank for promoting the Memorare , he is certainly not its original author. First, Fr. Bernard stated that he learned the prayer from his own father. Secondly, the prayer was known to and used by St. Francis de Sales who is 21 years older than Fr. Bernard. Thirdly, and most importantly, the prayer appears as part of the much longer 15th century prayer, Ad sanctitatis tuae pedes, dulcissima Virgo Maria.
Ad sanctitatis tuae pedes, dulcissima Virgo Maria is a rather long prayer that appears in a number of printed books and manuscripts from the last quarter of the 15th century and onwards. It appears in such works as the Hortulus Animae (15th cent.), the Antidotarius Animae (15th cent.) of Nicholas de Saliceto (Cistercian abbot of Bomgart, near Strasbourg), and the Precationum piarum Enchiridion, compiled around 1570 by Simon Verepaeus. The Memorare is an integral part of the text in each case. Exactly when the Memorare was extracted from this longer prayer has not yet been determined, but it likely occurred in the later part of the 16th century, around the time of Fr. Bernard and his father.
Since the later part of the 16th century several variants of the Memorare have appeared such as that found in the Caeleste Palmetum below. It is also found embedded in the Ave augustissima. The exact wording of the prayer stabilized during the 19th century to that given below and was first indulgenced by Pope Pius IX in 1846.
A partial indulgence is granted to the faithful who recite the Memorare.
-- Enrique Ortiz (email@example.com), August 21, 2001.
I had never read that kind of detailed information about this subject before today. Yes, I had read before that St. Bernard perhaps did not compose the "Memorare," and that is why I stated (above) that it is only "attributed" to him. I almost omitted mentioning the prayer because of the uncertainty, but I decided that no harm could come of it. (The situation reminds me of the attribution of composition of the rosary to St. Dominic, which some hold, while others [including some orthodox Dominicans] deny.)
St. James, pray for us.
God bless you.
-- (firstname.lastname@example.org), August 21, 2001.
On August 20, we members of the Catholic Church family honor, in a special way, the following friends of God -- saints and blesseds whose souls are now in heaven:
St. Bernard of Clairvaux (French, Cistercian monk, Doctor of the Church, d. 1153)
St. Bernard of Valdeiglesias [Bernardo] (Spanish, Cistercian monk, d. 1155)
Sts. Christopher and Leogivild of Cordova (Spanish, monk and priest, martyred by Moslems in 852)
St. Edbert of Northumbria (British, king, Benedictine monk, d. 960)
St. Gobert of Apremont (Belgian, count, crusader, and monk, d. 1263)
St. Haduin of Le Mans (French, bishop, c. 662)
St. Heliodorus (Persian [Iranian], martyr, d. 362)
St. Herbert Hoscam of Conze (English, archbishop in Italy, d. 1180)
Bl. James Bell of Warrington (English, priest, martyred by hanging under Elizabeth I in 1584 [beatified 1929])
St. Lucius of Cyrene (North African, early martyr)
Bl. Mary de Mattias of Vallecorsa [Maria] (Italian, virgin, foundress of Congregation of the Adoring Sisters of the Blood of Christ, d. 1866 [canonized 2003])
St. Maximus of Tours (French, disciple of St. Martin, abbot, d. 470)
St. Oswin of Deira (British, king, martyred 651)
St. Ronald of Kirkwall (Scottish, warrior chieftain, erected cathedral, martyred in 1158)
St. Samuel of Ramathaim-zophim (Israelite, Old Testament prophet, anointed kings Saul and David, c. 1000 B.C.)
Holy Martyrs of Thrace (Greek, 37 early martyrs [feet and hands cut off, burned to death])
If you have anything to share about these holy people, please reply now -- biographical episodes, prayers through their intercession, the fact that one is your patron -- whatever moves you. If you are interested in one of these saints or blesseds and want to find out more about him/her, please ask. Information is sometimes available on the Internet.
All you holy men and women, saints of God, pray for us.
God bless you.
-- J. F. Gecik (email@example.com), August 20, 2003.