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Didjaredit? 1.What country was Bernard from? 2.What happened to him when his mother died? 3.What is a Cistercian? 4.Who did Bernard bring with him when.

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Presentation on theme: "Didjaredit? 1.What country was Bernard from? 2.What happened to him when his mother died? 3.What is a Cistercian? 4.Who did Bernard bring with him when."— Presentation transcript:


2 Didjaredit? 1.What country was Bernard from? 2.What happened to him when his mother died? 3.What is a Cistercian? 4.Who did Bernard bring with him when he went to join the monastery? 5.What mistake did Bernard make when he first was elected abbot of a new monastery? 6.What was Bernard’s first miracle? 7.Because of his poor health, Bernard could not work the fields. Therefore he was assigned to do what? 8.What was Bernard’ relationship with Peter Abelard? 9.Bernard wrote a famous hymn called, “_________, Joy of Loving Hearts.” 10.Bernard explained in his writing on humility, that Christ knew mercy and obedience intuitively but during his lifetime on earth he had to come to know them in other way. What way was that? Extra credit: Bernard founded what celebrated military order?

3 What is a Cistercian Monk? A Cistercian is a member of the Cistercian Order They are also called the Bernardines, after St. Bernard of Clairvaux or the White Monks, in reference to the color of the "cuccula" or white choir robe worn by the Cistercians over their habits, -as opposed to the black cucculas worn by the Benedictine monks.

4 The term Cistercian derives from Cistercium, the Latin name for the village of Cîteaux, near Dijon in eastern France. It was in this village that a group of Benedictine monks from the monastery of Molesme founded Cîteaux Abbey in 1098, with the goal of following more closely the Rule of Saint Benedict. Rejecting the developments the Benedictines had undergone, the monks tried to replicate monastic life exactly as it had been in Saint Benedict's time; indeed in various points they went beyond it in austerity. The most striking feature in the reform was the return to manual labour, especially field-work, a special characteristic of Cistercian life.

5 Bernard of Clairvaux, true effigy by Georg Andreas Wasshuber (1650– 1732)

6 Writings of St. Bernard The works of Bernard included the following: 1.Commentary (Sermons) on the Song of Songs – given to his monks 2.The Steps of Humility and Pride his first treatise, written in the mid-1120s. 3.Apology to William of St. Thierry, written in the defense of the Cistercians against the claims of the monks of Cluny. 4.On the Conversion of Clerics, a book addressed to the young ecclesiastics of Paris written in 1122. 5.On Grace and Free Choice, written c1128, in which the Roman Catholic dogma of grace and free will was defended according to the principles of St Augustine. 6.On Loving God, possibly written c1128, which outlines seven stages of ascent leading to union with God. 7.In Praise of the New Knighthood addressed to Hugh de Paynes, first Grand Master and Prior of Jerusalem (1129). This is a eulogy of the Knights Templar order, which had been instituted in 1118, and an exhortation to the knights to conduct themselves with courage in their several stations. 8.Book of Precepts and Dispensations, written c1141–44, which contains answers to questions upon certain points of the Rule of St Benedict from which the abbot can, or cannot, dispense. 9.On Consideration, written c1148-53, addressed to Pope Eugenius III. 10.The life and death of Saint Malachy, the Irishman.[36] 11.A letter addressed to Henry, Archbishop of Sens on the duties of bishops. 12.Numerous sermons – we have 125 of them today. 13.Numerous prayers 14.547 letters 15.Bernard also wrote hymns.

7 Commentary (or Sermons) on the Song of Songs His greatest work. These sermons showed the depth of his mystical union with God and the intensity of his prayer life. St. Bernard interprets the song of songs in reference to the love between God and the soul. God is deeply in love with us, and wills our love in return. This love between the soul and God, which is the most intimate love possible, is expressed in the analogy of bride and bridegroom, where the intimacy of love is especially expressed.


9 HIS THEOLOGY St. Bernard of Clairvaux was named a Doctor of the Church in 1830. At the 800th anniversary of his death, Pope Pius XII issued an encyclical on Bernard, Doctor Mellifluus ((the Honey- Sweet(-voiced) Doctor) for his eloquence), in which he labeled him "The Last of the Fathers." Bernard did not reject human philosophy which is genuine philosophy, which leads to God; he differentiates between different kinds of knowledge, the highest being theological. Three central elements of Bernard's Mariology are how he explained the virginity of Mary, the "Star of the Sea", how the faithful should pray on the Virgin Mary, and how he relied on the Virgin Mary as Mediatrix. Bernard, like Thomas Aquinas, denied the doctrine of the Immaculate Conception of Mary. Christology: Christ knew intuitively all and then grew in experiential knowledge in life.

10 HIS SPIRITUALITY Bernard was instrumental in re- emphasizing the importance of Lectio Divina and contemplation on Scripture within the Cistercian order. Bernard had observed that when Lectio Divina was neglected monasticism suffered. Bernard considered Lectio Divina and contemplation guided by the Holy Spirit the keys to nourishing Christian spirituality.

11 Lectio Divina (divine reading) 1. Lectio – Reading/listening (Scripture or other spiritual reading) 2. Meditato – Meditation on what is read. 3. Oratio - Praying over what was read. 4. Contemplatio – Openness to the Presence of God – silence. 5. Actio – Putting into practice in your life your resolve from this reading.

12 HIS LEGACY Bernard's theology and Mariology continue to be of major importance, particularly within the Cistercian and Trappist orders. He was a mediator and a peacemaker – he advised Popes, bishops and Kings. Bernard led to the foundation of 163 monasteries in different parts of Europe. At his death, they numbered 343. His influence led Pope Alexander III to launch reforms that would lead to the establishment of canon law. He was the first Cistercian monk placed on the calendar of saints and was canonized by Pope Alexander III 18 January 1174. Pope Pius VIII bestowed on him the title of Doctor of the Church. The Cistercians honor him as only the founders of orders are honored, because of the widespread activity which he gave to the order.

13 In Dante’s Paradiso Dante Alighieri's "Divine Comedy" places him as the last guide for Dante, as he travels through the Empyrean which is the highest part of heaven (Paradiso, cantos XXXI–XXXIII). Dante's choice appears to be based on Bernard's contemplative mysticism, his devotion to Mary, and his reputation for eloquence. The Empyrean: St. Bernard of Clairvaux explains the divisions of the celestial rose; Dante's vision of the Virgin Mary.

14 Dante and St Bernard of Clairvaux facing circles of Angels.

15 Clairvaux Abbey (Clara Vallis in Latin) is a Cistercian monastery in Ville-sous-la-Ferté, 15 km from Bar-sur-Aube, in the Aube département in northeastern France. The original building, founded in 1115 by St. Bernard, is now in ruins.

16 Saint Bernard's Prayer to the Shoulder Wound of Jesus It is related in the annals of Clairvaux that St. Bernard asked our Lord which was His greatest unrecorded suffering, and Our Lord answered: "I had on My Shoulder, while I bore My Cross on the Way of Sorrows, a grievous Wound, which was more painful than the others, and which is not recorded by men.” O Loving Jesus, meek Lamb of God, I a miserable sinner, salute and worship the most Sacred Wound of Your Shoulder on which You did bear Your heavy Cross, which tore Your flesh and laid bare Your Bones as to inflict on You an anguish greater than any other wound of Your Most Blessed Body. I adore You, O Jesus most sorrowful; I praise and glorify You, and give You thanks for this most sacred and painful Wound, beseeching You by that exceeding pain, and by the crushing burden of Your heavy Cross to be merciful to me, a sinner, to forgive me all my mortal and venial sins, and to lead me on towards Heaven along the Way of Your Cross. Amen.

17 Assignment Take out a ½ sheet of paper. Listen to the video on a sermon written by St. Bernard on repentance. Jot down some notes as he speaks. Finally, in 3-4 sentences, explain what St. Bernard taught you in your own words! /watch?v=Z-PGHetVx7Y /watch?v=Z-PGHetVx7Y


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