The Portrait of the Saint

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The Portrait of the Saint

from “Saint Bernard”
The Oracle of the 12th Century
by Rev. Hugo H. Hoever 

The whole world knows that God glorified his servant Bernard, Abbot of Clairvaux, through miraculous signs. However, he displayed the greatest miracle in his own person. His gaze was serene, and his appearance humble. In his sermons, he exercised prudent caution, and his actions were filled with fear of God. He was a man of meditation and prayer, who, in all his undertakings, trusted more in prayer than in his own abilities. God had given this holy soul a fitting body to assist him. A more spiritual than sensual charm enveloped his whole appearance. Heavenly glory brightened his face, and from his eyes shone out the innocence of an angel and the simplicity of a dove. So great was the interior beauty and fullness of grace of this man that it was radiated in his bodily exterior. The body of the Saint was built most tenderly and almost completely without flesh. A fine red covered his cheeks. His hair was very fair and the reddish beard grew grey in the last years of his life. Although he was only of medium height, Bernard appeared tall rather than short. If he could withdraw from exterior businesses he prayed, read, wrote, taught his monks or enjoyed silent meditation …” Continue reading

St. Bernard of Clairveaux

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St. Bernard of Clairveaux, Abbot

St. Bernard, illustrious throughout the whole Christian world for his great learning, holiness and miracles, was born of very pious parents who had, besides him, six sons and one daughter. Before he was born, his mother dreamed that she was bearing a dog, which barked while still in the womb. The priest to whom she related this, said: “Fear not; you will give birth to a child, who will enter the religious state, watch over the Church of God, combat her enemies, and heal the wounds of many with his tongue.” The mother was greatly comforted, and when her child was born, she endeavored to educate him most carefully. To her great joy, she perceived that, early in childhood, he possessed a most tender love for God and the Blessed Virgin, a great horror for sin, a most watchful care to preserve his innocence and purity, a great contempt for all temporal goods, and a high esteem of all that related to God and the salvation of souls. One day, while still a small boy, he suffered intensely from headache; and when a woman came to him to pronounce some superstitious words over him, the pious child, perceiving her intentions, leaped out of bed and drove her from the room, saying that he would rather die of pain than be relieved by sin. The Almighty recompensed this heroic conduct by immediately relieving him of his pain.  Continue reading

The Death of Pope Pius X

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The Death of Pope Pius X

Pope Pius X. died at twenty minutes past one on Thursday morning. In a moment of lucidity, just before his death, his Holiness is reported to have said: “Now I begin to think the end is approaching. The Almighty in His in- exhaustible goodness wishes to spare me the horrors which Europe is undergoing.” It is stated that since the outbreak of the war the Pope showed very deep feeling, and again and again repeated “Poor children !”—alluding to the soldiers killed in action.

The Pope was a man of great personal charm of character as well as of great goodness of heart, but no one but a flatterer could suggest that he had the intellectual qualities requisite for his great office. His theological ideas were those of an old-fashioned country vicar, and when he was called upon to deal with the Modernist movement he was, of course, quite incapable of handling it wisely. It is greatly to be hoped that the Conclave when it meets will choose a successor to Pope Pius X. who will be able to cope with modern conditions.

From The Spectator, 22 August 1914.