Sunday
August 20, 2000
volume 11, no. 145


LITURGY for Sunday and Monday, August 20-21, 2000

SUNDAY, August 20, 2000

      First Reading: Proverbs 9: 1-6
      Psalms: Psalm 34: 2-7
      Second Reading: Ephesians 5: 15-20
      Gospel Reading: John 6: 51-58
Though superseded by the 20th Sunday in Ordinary Time, August 20th is the traditional Feast of Saint Bernard of Clairvaux, Abbot and Doctor of the Church:

Feast of Saint Bernard of Clairvaux, Abbot and Doctor of the Church
        A rebirth of the Cistercian Order can be attributed to a great Cistercian saint born in Burgundy, France in 1090: Saint Bernard. He entered the Cistercian abbey in Citeaux, France in 1113, convincing thirty friends and relatives to join him. Naturally, this influx led to the revival of the Cistercian Order and within three years of becoming a priest, Bernard was sent with twelve others to establish a new monastery at Clairvaux which was to be the daughter house of Citeaux. Bernard was chosen Abbot and as word of his devotion and knowledge grew the people sought him out from the poorest peasants to bishops, kings and Popes. One of them, Pope Blessed Eugene III commissioned Bernard to preach the Second Crusade throughout Europe which also enabled Bernard to found many monasteries in France, Germany, Spain, Sweden, Sicily and even Syria. Kings beseeched him to serve as a peacemaker whenever possible and Bernard was revered not only for his holy life, but for his great writings. One of the greatest prayers he wrote was the Memorare to Our Lady. He was devoted heart and soul to his Crucified Lord and received many visions and messages through private revelation, one of which was his zeal to help the suffering Christ so that he offered to help Him bear the terrible suffering of the cross. Christ comforted Bernard and inspired him to carry His word and faith to all parts of Europe and the mideast, entreating the saint to defend the true pontiff Pope Innocent II as opposed to the antipope Anaclete II. Bernard died peacefully on August 20, 1153 five weeks after the death of his pontiff Blessed Eugene III. Bernard, also known as "Hammer of heretics", was canonized by Pope Alexander III in 1174 and proclaimed a Doctor of the Church in 1830 by Pope Pius VIII.

Monday, August 21, 2000

      First Reading: Ezechiel 24: 15-24
      Psalms: Deuteronomy 32: 18-21
      Gospel Reading: Matthew 19: 16-22
Feast of Pope Saint Pius X, Pontiff of the Eucharist
        Born Joseph Sarto in 1835 near Treviso, Italy at Riese, this young parish priest went on to become one of the greatest Popes ever - Pope Saint Pius X - the Pope of the Blessed Sacrament. Prior to his elevation to the papacy he was ordained Bishop of Mantua in 1884 and became Cardinal Sarto in 1893. Against his own wishes he was unanimously elected the 257th pontiff in the line of Peter at the conclave on August 9, 1903. His pontificate was one of great accomplishments from his liturgical reforms in the Breviary, Mass, and Gregorian Chant to his establishing that all children who had reached the age of reason could receive Holy Communion. He promulgated a new Catechism and the Code of Canon Law and established the Acta Apostolicae Sedis (A.A.S.) He decreed the elevation of the Holst and Chalice at the Consecration of the Mass and was known for his staunch defense of the conservative Church and opposed staunchly to liberalism. He deplored diplomacy in the face of all of the hypocrism and false dealings between nations and many believe the loss of so many lives at the outbreak of World War I contributed to his early death on August 21, 1914, 22 days after war had broken out. His last words were: "To restore all things in Christ, so that Christ may be all in all." That was his motto throughout his eleven year papacy. Today his body is still incorrupt, having been moved from St. Peter's Basilica in Rome in 1959 to his home diocese of Venice, thus bringing true his last words to the Venetians before Cardinal Sarto headed off to the conclave in 1903, "Living or dead, I shall return." Venice sent the Church a great pontiff, now Holy Mother Church was returning a great saint.

August 20, 2000
volume 11, no. 145
DAILY LITURGY