Today in Benedictine monasteries the liturgical memorial observed is that of Blessed
Bernard Tolomei (sometimes he is already referred to as a saint but he won’t be canonized by the church later this year). From the region of Siena, Blessed Bernard was the 14th century founder of the Olivetan congregation of Benedictine monks. Bernard and his spiritual sons are known for living a life of solitude and austerity while introducing a new form of monastic observance with a congregation structure (i.e., with an elected abbot general). The Olivetan monks wear white habits in honor of Our Lady and have a special devotion to the Paschal Mystery. The congregation was founded and continues to thrive at the Archabbey of Monte Oliveto Maggiore (or here); congregation is present in the USA at the Abbey of Our Lady of Guadalupe (aka Pecos).
Familiarize yourself with Bernard’s influence. The charism and witness of this monastic tradition is manifested in Pope John Paul’s Letter to the Olivetan Benedictines. An Italian artistic and cultural society is fostered in the Bernard Tolomei Foundation.
The Mass collects for today are help for our prayer:
I will give you shepherds after my own heart, and they shall feed you on knowledge and sound teaching. (Jer. 3:15)
Lord our God, through blessed abbot Bernard, you enriched Your Church with a new
form of monastic observance. Strengthened by his help and example, may we gain the good things prepared for those who believe in You. We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.
Prayer Over the Gifts
Lord, accept these gifts from your people. May the Eucharist we offer to Your glory in honor of Blessed Bernard help us on our way to salvation. Grant this in the name of Jesus the Lord.
The Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many. (Mt. 20:28)
Prayer after Communion
Lord, we receive the bread of heaven as we honor the memory of [Blessed] St. Bernard. May the Eucharist we now celebrate lead us to eternal joys. Grant this in the name of Jesus the Lord.