The feast day of St. Bernard of Clairvaux will be celebrated on August. 20. St. Bernard was born in a castle, in Burgundy, France in the year 1090. He went to college at Chatillon, studying theology and scripture.
After the death of his mother, Bernard decided to enter the Cistercian Order, focusing on contemplative prayer.
Bernard suffered stomach ailments due to anxiety after entering the monastery. However, he never complained. His health improved after following the care of a physician and following a special diet. After returning to the monastery, he was allowed to preach and write rather that work in the fields, due to his health. He became known for his eloquent preaching quickly being appointed an Abbot. Bernard also became known as a good arbitrator and counselor. He was asked to settle various disputes, ending several schisms. and advising several popes.
During the Second Crusade he preached throughout Europe. He wrote a treatise called Degrees of Humility and Pride, which analyzed the human character. He also wrote many hymns.
St. Bernard died on 1153, on August. 20. He is considered a Doctor of the Church.
St. Bernard of Clairvaux is the patron saint of candle makers.
The following hymn was written by St. Bernard.
Jesus, Thou Joy of Loving Hearts
Jesus thou joy of loving hearts,
Thou fount of life, thou light of men,
From the poor bliss that earth imparts,
We turn unfilled to thee again.
Thy truth unchanged hath ever stood;
Thou savest those who on thee call;
To them that sees thee, thou art good,
To them that find thee, all in all.
We taste thee. O thou living Bread,
And long to feast upon thee still;
We drink of thee, the Fountain Head,
And thirst our souls from these to fill.
Our restless spirits yearn for thee.
Wher’er our changeful lot is cast,
Glad, when thy gracious smile we see;
Blest, when our faith can hold thee fast.