Collect: Grant to us, Lord, we beseech thee, the spirit to think and do always such things as are right; that we, who cannot do anything that is good without thee, may by thee be enabled to live according to thy will; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Tuesday, August 20: Saint Bernard
Saint Bernard was born to a noble French family in the year 1090. The third of seven children, his mother’s death when he was seventeen plunged him into despair; only his sister Humbeline was able to bring him out of his depression. He entered the Benedictine abbey at Citeaux at the age of 22, along with 31 others whom he had persuaded to join him. After three years, Abbot Stephen of Citeaux sent Bernard with 12 other monks to found a new branch of the monastery , which he eventually named Clairvaux, or “Valley of Light.” As a leader of the reform within Benedictinism at that time, hundreds of monastic houses were founded using his system of rule. Fr. John Julian states that “Saint Bernard of Clairvaux was the single most powerful person in the entire expanse of Western Europe during the first half of the 12th century — more powerful than any king or emperor, any prince or post. Indeed, it has been said of him that Bernard ‘carried the twelfth century on his shoulders!’ ” After a life of extreme asceticism leading to very poor health, he died on this day in 1152.
Saturday, August 24: Saint Bartholomew the Apostle
Saint Bartholomew is listed among the Twelve in the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, and Luke. In the Gospel of John, an apostle “Nathanael” is named and because of several marks (i.e. Nathanael/Bartholomew always being grouped with Philip, Bartholomew being a “patronymic” and not a personal name, etc.), Nathanael and Bartholomew have been considered the same person since the 9th century. In the Gospel of John, Jesus called Nathanael “an Israelite worthy of the name” and Nathanael is part of the group who sees Jesus’s appearance on the beach after the resurrection. The Epistle lesson listed for this day is Acts 5:12-16 and the Gospel is St Luke 22:24-30. Here is the collect:
O almighty and everlasting God, who didst give to thine Apostle Bartholomew grace truly to believe and to preach thy Word; Grant, we beseech thee, unto thy Church, to love that Word which he believed, and both to preach and receive the same; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
This post is a few days late due to my family taking a trip to visit family and friends in New Jersey and Connecticut. After this post, there is only one more saint summary (St. Louis for next Monday!) before I have finished writing the summaries for the days listed in our Ordo Calendar! I’m very excited to be finished and have some time to reflect on new subjects for this site.