25 May 2009

Who knew?

I just learned that my favorite prayer, the Memorare, isn't nearly as ancient as I thought it was. It was written by St. Bernard of Clairvaux and is also known as The Memorare of St. Bernard.

Feast Day:
Roman Rite Calendar - 08/20
Tridentine Calendar - 08/20

Patron Of: Beekeepers, Candle-makers, Gibraltar, Wax-refiners


French nobility. At age 22, fearing the ways of the world, he, four of his brothers, and 25 friends joined the abbey of Citeaux; his father and another brother joined soon after. Benedictine. Founded and led the monastery at Clairvaux which soon had over 700 monks and 160 daughter houses. Revised and reformed the Cistercians. Advisor to, and admonisher of, King Louis the Fat and King Louis the Young. Attended Second Lateran Council. Fought Albigensianism. Helped end the schism of anti-Pope Anacletus II. Preached in France, Italy, Germany. Helped organize the Second Crusade. Friend and biographer of Saint Malachy O'More. Spritual advisor to Pope Eugenius III, who had originally been one of his monks. First Cistercian monk placed on the calendar of saints. Proclaimed a Doctor of the Church by Pope Pius VIII.

Every morning Bernard would ask himself, "Why have I come here?", and then remind himself of his main duty - lead a holy life.

1090 at Fontaines-les-Dijon, Burgundy, France

20 August 1153 at Clairvaux

1170 by Pope Alexander III

I didn't learn this prayer until I was a junior in college at St. Thomas (I was a public school kid). I took a J-term class, Sin and Sinners in Dante's Purgatory, from Father Welzbacher. Each class period, before we would start, Father would have the class stand and say this prayer. Since I didn't want to look like an idiot and be the only one who didn't know this prayer, I learned it in a few days. I am grateful to Father for "making" me learn this prayer.

And, I learned a little bit about the Divine Comedy too. Not bad considering my friends were taking a J-term class that required them to watch soap operas and critique them. The things you learn at a "Catholic" college!

Remember, O most Gracious Virgin Mary, that never was it known that anyone who fled to thy protection, implored thy help, and sought thy intercession, was left unaided. Inspired with this confidence, I fly unto thee, O Virgin of Virgins, my Mother; to thee I come, before thee I stand, sinful and sorrowful. O Mother of the Word Incarnate! despise not my petitions, but in thy mercy, hear and answer me.


No comments: