Friday in the Octave of the Assumption
ST. BERNARD OF CLAIRVAUX-
1 Maccabees, Chapter 8, Verse 12
This verse is referring to the Romans (150 B.C.) and Judas Maccabee was impressed with the romans for, “Judas had heard of the reputation of the Romans. They were valiant fighters and acted amiably to all who took their side. They established a friendly alliance with all who applied to them. He was also told of their battles and the brave deeds that they performed against the Gaul’s.” (1 Maccabees 8:1-2) Judas sent envoys to Rome, probably before the death of Nicanor, to conclude a treaty of alliance between Rome and the Jewish nation. Without precise chronology, the pertinent data are gathered into a unified theme. The image of the Roman Republic greatly impressed the smaller Eastern peoples seeking support against their overlords, because of Roman success in war and effective aid to their allies. Numerous interventions by Rome in the politics of the Near East bear witness to its power and prestige in the second century B.C. With the increased Roman control of Palestine after 63 B.C., the Republic and later the Empire became heartily detested. The eulogy of Rome in this chapter is one of the reasons why 1 Maccabees was not preserved by the Palestinian Jews of the century that followed.
Fall of the Roman Republic
In 133 BC, Rome was a democracy. Little more than a hundred years later it was governed by an emperor. This imperial system has become, for us, a by-word for autocracy and the arbitrary exercise of power. At the end of the second century BC the Roman people was sovereign. True, rich aristocrats dominated politics. In order to become one of the annually elected 'magistrates' (who in Rome were concerned with all aspects of government, not merely the law) a man had to be very rich. Even the system of voting was weighted to give more influence to the votes of the wealthy. Yet ultimate power lay with the Roman people. Mass assemblies elected the magistrates, made the laws and took major state decisions. Rome prided itself on being a 'free republic' and centuries later was the political model for the founding fathers of the United States. The system was weighted to give more influence to the votes of the wealthy. By 14 AD, when the first emperor Augustus died, popular elections had all but disappeared. Power was located not in the old republican assembly place of the forum, but in the imperial palace. The assumption was that Augustus's heirs would inherit his rule over the Roman world - and so they did. This was nothing short of a revolution, brought about through a century of constant civil strife, and sometimes open warfare. This ended when Augustus - 'Octavian' as he was then called - finally defeated his last remaining rivals Mark Antony and Cleopatra in 31 BC and established himself on the throne.
All Hale King O’Biden
Bernard of Clairvaux
Bernard, the second founder of the Cistercians, the Mellifluous Doctor, the apostle of the Crusades, the miracle-worker, the reconciler of kings, the leader of peoples, the counselor of popes! His sermons, from which there are many excerpts in the Breviary, are conspicuous for genuine emotion and spiritual unction. The celebrated Memorare is ascribed to him. Bernard was born in 1090, the third son of an illustrious Burgundian family. At the age of twenty-two he entered the monastery of Citeaux (where the Cistercian Order had its beginning) and persuaded thirty other youths of noble rank to follow his example. Made abbot of Clairvaux (1115), he erected numerous abbeys where his spirit flourished. To his disciple, Bernard of Pisa, who later became Pope Eugene III, he dedicated his work De Consideratione. Bernard's influence upon the princes, the clergy, and the people of his age was most remarkable. By penitential practices he so exhausted his body that it could hardly sustain his soul, ever eager to praise and honor God.
Patron: beekeepers; bees; candlemakers; chandlers; wax-melters; wax refiners; Gibraltar; Queens College, Cambridge.
Things to Do
· Because St. Bernard is the patron of candlemakers, a great project would be to learn how to make candles. Candles 101 discusses in brief about making homemade candles, rolled, dipped and molded. Practicing making candles now will help in preparing to make a family Christ Candle for Advent and Paschal Candle for Easter.
· From the Catholic Culture library: Preaching Conversion Through The Beatitudes: Bernard Of Clairvaux's Ad Clericos De Conversione and Pope Pius XII On St. Bernard Of Clairvaux, The Last Of The Fathers.
· Though of a rich and noble family St. Bernard continually asked the question: "For what purpose are you on earth?" Spend some time today in front of the Blessed Sacrament and ask yourself this question.
· This site — complete with words and midi files — features hymns written by St. Bernard.
· When you fall into sin ask for help of Christ via His “Shoulder Wound”.
· Learn more about the Cistercian Order founded by St. Bernard.
· Read more about the life of St. Bernard.