By Deborah Castellano Lubov

Today, August 20th, the Church celebrates the feast of Saint Bernard of Clairvaux.

A day earlier, during Pope Francis’ privately streamed General Audience from within his papal library, the Pontiff called on others to “abandon themselves” in the Virgin, while addressing the elderly, the sick, young people and newlyweds.

Born in Fontaines-les-Dijon, France, in 1090, St. Bernard was an Abbot, Founder and Doctor of the Church. A saint who greatly encouraged Marian devotion, Bernard was a seeker of souls and vocations, as well as a genuine leader and expert in the art of dialectics and rhetoric.

“Tomorrow,” he said, “we will celebrate the Liturgical Memorial of Saint Bernard of Clairvaux, great Doctor of the Church and, above all, tender ‘singer’ of Our Lady.”

“His example awakens in each one of us the desire to abandon ourselves with faith to the maternal protection of the Holy Virgin, Consoler of the Afflicted.”

Toward the conclusion of the Pope’s Audience, he encouraged: “I invite all to dedicate more time to prayer and to Christian formation, to be faithful disciples of Christ and to grow in the spirit of fraternal solidarity.”

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