Sunday, March 4, 2007


Saint Bernard of Clairvaux was a great saint of the twelfth century. He was an advocate of Pope Innocent II, and an abott of the Cistercian order of monks. The Cistercians were known as the White Monks, from the color of their habit. They take their name from the Latin name of Cîteaux in France, where their first Abbey was located.
Saint Bernard was a Doctor of the Church and an advocate of Scholastic Theology, which we will discuss another day. Bernard is also credited with having written the Memorare. Like many ancient prayers the Memorare takes its name from the first word of the prayer, Remember.

Memoráre, O piísima Virgo María,
non esse audítum a sæculo,
quemquam ad tua curréntem præsídia,
tua implorántem auxília,
tua peténtem suffrágia esse derelícta.
Nos tali animáti confidéntia ad te, Virgo Vírginum, Mater, cúrrimus;
ad te venímus;
coram te geméntes peccatóres assístimus.
Noli, Mater Verbi,
verba nostra despícere,
sed audi propítia et exáudi.

Remember, O Most Gracious Virgin Mary,
that never was it known that anyone who fled to Thy protection,
implored Thy help or sought Thy intercession,
was left unaided.
Inspired by this confidence,
I fly unto Thee, O Virgin of Virgins, my Mother;
to Thee do we come, before thee we kneel, sinful and sorrowful.
O Mother of the Word Incarnate,
despise not my petitions,
but in Thy clemency, hear and answer me.
This prayer seems especially appropriate during this season. So this year I've added the Memorare to my daily prayers for Lent. I have also urged my Middle School students to pray it.

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