Tag Archives: Benedictine saints and blesseds

Inflamed with the love of Christ: Saint Bernard of Clairvaulx


Truly it is right and just, our duty and our salvation,

always and everywhere to give you thanks,
Lord, holy Father, almighty and eternal God,
through Christ our Lord.


Christ is the Word
whom Saint Bernard held in the silence of his heart;
Christ is the Bridegroom
whom he desired with all the ardor of his soul;
Christ is the Son of the Virgin Mary
whose sweetness was his comfort and delight.


In the holy abbot Bernard you have given your Church
a teacher in the school of charity,
a prophet burning with the fire of the Holy Spirit,
a poet to sing the praises of the Virgin Mother,
a servant of unity and peace.

Even today, his words fill us with wonder,
inflame us with longing for the wedding of the Lamb,
and inspire us to sing your praise with joy.


Therefore, with the angels and the great company of saints,
we exalt your glory forever.


(Preface of the Mass of Saint Bernard)

Saint Bernard Tolomei

Today in Benedictine monasteries the liturgical memorial observed is that of Blessed

Bernardo Tolomei2.jpgBernard 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).


olivetan monk.jpgFamiliarize 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)


Opening Prayer

Lord our God, through blessed abbot Bernard, you enriched Your Church with a new

cross in Rome.jpgform 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.


Communion antiphon

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.

About the author

Paul A. Zalonski is from New Haven, CT. He is a member of the Fraternity of Communion and Liberation, a Catholic ecclesial movement, and an Oblate of Saint Benedict. Contact Paul at paulzalonski[at]yahoo.com.
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