Summer Saints – Bernard of Clairvaux

Saint Bernard was born in 1090, the third of seven children.  His parents made sure that all of their children were well-educated and Bernard’s teachers were very impressed by how smart he was.  Bernard was very devoted to the Blessed Virgin, and whenever he was tempted to sin, he would go be alone and ask for her help.

In 1113, Bernard entered a Cistercian monastery and thirty of his friends joined him!  Soon, the head of the monastery sent Bernard out to start a new monastery, which he called “Clairvaux.”  Eventually, all of Bernard’s brothers joined him as monks.  The monastery quickly became too small, so Bernard sent men out to start even more new monasteries.  Even though he was young many people – including bishops, other priests, and cardinals – listened to his advice.  Bernard also wrote many books about scripture, and because of this he is a Doctor of the Church.

Saint Bernard is the patron of beekeepers and candlemakers.  For his advice and preaching he was called “The honey tongued teacher”.  Take time out to enjoy a honey snack in celebration of St. Bernard.  Try some Bit-O-Honey candy, honey graham crackers, peanut butter and honey toast, etc.

Candles remind us that Jesus is the light of the world and are very important in the prayer life of the church.  Each year at the Easter Vigil Mass, the darkness of the church is broken by new Paschal Candle (the tall white candle that stands near the altar) that will be used during baptisms in the year to come.  Churches use a candle to indicate where the tabernacle holding the Blessed Sacrament is located.  Candles can also be used in our personal prayer – you may have at least one candle at your prayer table.

Keep a candle lit on your prayer table for the entire day today as a reminder of Christ’s Presence in your home!

Try a candle making or decorating activity.  You can buy beeswax sheets at stores which sell craft supplies.  Simply rolling them around a wick will create a sweet-smelling candle for your prayer table.  You can also decorate pre-made candles with stickers, or draw designs on tissue paper and mod podge them onto candles you already have.


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