On the Benedictine liturgical calendar, the commemoration today is for St. Bernard Tolomei (1272-1348), the Siena born monk who founded what is today is known as the Olivetan Benedictine Congregation. This monastic foundation follows the Holy Rule of St. Benedict and is under the patronage of the Blessed Virgin Mary and the Angels, hence their wearing of a white habit. One tradition of the Olivetans is to fast on Monday to honor the Archangel Michael (the secondary patron of the Congregation). Bernard is recalled as the “hero of penance and martyr of charity.”
St. Bernard Tolomei, teach us the meaning of true penance and charity.