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Showing posts with the label Cistercian saints

St. Bernard of Clairvaux: A model of peace for these troubled times

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“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.” – Matthew 5:9

How do we deal with the violence, war, and conflicts that we face in our world today?  How can we serve as true peacemakers in our 21st century culture?

St. Bernard of Clairvaux, a Cistercian abbot, a contemplative, theologian, and mystic of the twelfth century is an excellent example for us to follow. Due to the numerous schisms which had arisen in the Church during his age, he traveled extensively throughout Europe, restoring peace and unity. Not only did he deal with divisions in the Church, but he also mediated in secular disputes and was sought out as an adviser and an arbitrator by the ruling powers of his era. What was his secret for restoring peace and unity to a troubled world? He was merely a modest monk with no worldly power or possessions. What made him so influential and valuable to others was the fact that he was a man of heroic virtue. Which virtues made him effective as a peacemaker in…

St. Lutgardis: patron of the blind and physically disabled

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The saint of the day is St. Lutgardis, a Cistercian, and one of the first mystics of the Sacred Heart.

St. Lutgardis is the patron saint of the blind and physically disabled people. Born in the 12th century, she came to her vocation, in part, due to her father’s bad business sense. Her father lost her dowry in a failed business venture and sent her to a Benedictine convent at the age of 12.

A few years later, she received a vision of Christ showing her his wounds, and at age 20 she became a Benedictine nun. Her visions continued and she is said to have levitated and dripped blood from her head when meditating on the Passion.

Seeking a stricter life, she joined the Cistercians and displayed the gifts of healing, prophecy, spiritual wisdom and teaching on the Gospels.

She accepted the blindness that afflicted her for the last 11 years of her life as a gift that helped reduce the distractions of the outside world. In her last vision, Christ told her when she was to die, the day after th…