Saturday, August 20, 2016

Saint Bernard of Clairvaux: Prayer is a Wine which Makes Glad the Heart of Man

If you have been visiting my site you already know that I have a special connection to Saint Bernard of Clairvaux. A famous quote he said is the tagline of my blog:

An interesting fact about the time period of Saint Bernard of Clairvaux is that Abbots were responsible for preparing wine. Saint Bernard was the Abbot of Clairvaux.

Saint Bernard of Clairvaux is considered a Doctor of the Church and is often referred to as the apostle of the Crusades. Saint Bernard is also known as the Mellifluous, or sweet tongued. He is the patron saint of bees, candlemakers, wax-melters and chandlers. Saint Bernard was born in Burgundy, France at Fontaines-les-Dijon - the castle of the Fontaines. He was born into a wealthy family and had a very strong relationship with his mom. After her death, he decided to become a monk to avoid falling into the temptation of the world. He entered the Cistercian monastery at Citeaux with thirty young noblemen, including his father, brothers, uncles and friends. After Saint Bernard made it clear that he was making great progress in his personal spiritual life, he and twelve other monks were sent to found a new monastery. It was known as the Valley of Wormwood, better known as the Valley of Light, or Clairvaux. Saint Bernard had a great devotion to the Virgin Mary and was contributed with many miracles. Saint Bernard was a man of many talents and wrote often, including poetry and hymns. Check out Hymnary if you would like to listen to some of his beautiful songs. 

During my research of Saint Bernard, I came across a wine brand that references my favorite Saint Bernard of Clairvaux quote and speaks of the great saint in detail on their homepage. I will be checking out some places to try to find a bottle of J.Jencquel & Cie in honor of Saint Bernard later today. As of right now I have been unsuccessful because I believe this brand may only be in Europe but if I can't find a bottle of J.Jencquel & Cie, I will purchase a bottle created from the Burgundy region of France.

There are so many fun and simple ways to celebrate this great saint. Purchase a new candle, make some candles, change out the scents in your wax warmers. I changed our wax warmers over to autumn scents like spiced apples and pumpkins! Try out a recipe that uses honey too. There are many different desserts or entrees that incorporate the sweet ingredient. My husband bought me a Shadow box to hold my wine corks earlier in the week! I don't think he knew how appropriate the gift would be for this week

My husband and I used the quiet morning to enjoy a small hike and go grab a cup of coffee. Getting that hour alone was a nice, rejuvenating way to start the day and helped us complete our Date Your Mate Dates this week. A nature and adrenaline date all in one! I have to write him a love note tonight to complete the additional challenges for our first week of the challenge. I think I'll do it later tonight while I am relaxing with my bottle of wine since he is working late tonight. 

My family will be enjoying a delicious dinner of Crockpot Honey Dijon Chicken with rice and vegetables by candle light with a nice glass of wine for me and a bottle of sparkling wine for the boys! Maybe I will play a hymn or two during dinner too. I chose the recipe for Honey Dijon Chicken because it incorporates honey made from bees since he is the patron saint of bees and Dijon mustard as a play on words because he was born at Fontaines-les-Dijon. Here is the recipe I used.

Crockpot Honey Dijon Chicken:

2-3 Large Chicken Breasts
1 Cup Honey
1 Cup Dijon Mustard
1 Tbsp Miced Garlic
1 Tsp Italian Seasoning

Combine Honey, Dijon Mustard, Garlic and Italian Seasoning together in a bowl and set aside. Place Chicken in a lined or pan sprayed crock pot. Pour the sauce over the chicken and cook on low heat for 8 hours or high heat for 4-6 hours. Serve over rice and Enjoy!

Saint Bernard was such a brilliant writer! There are many quotes that are shared nowadays that he has been contributed to including:

"We find rest in those we love, and we provide a resting place for those who love us."

It is no great thing to be humble when you are brought low; but to be humble when you are praised is a great and rare attainment."

"What I know of the divine science and Holy Scriptures, I learnt in woods and fields."

"You wish to see; listen. Hearing is a step toward Vision."

I hope everyone had a great day celebrating the feast of Saint Bernard of Clairvaux! I know our celebration was short and sweet and sometimes that's all you really need. We will probably end the day with a nice cup of honey chamomile tea on our porch and enjoy the beautiful weather this weekend before hurrying back to real life and the craziness it brings.

Prayer to the Most Holy Name of Jesus:
{Written by Saint Bernard of Clairvaux}

Jesus, the very thought of Thee With sweetness fills the breast! 
Yet sweeter far Thy face to see And in Thy presence rest. 
No voice can sing, no heart can frame, Nor can the memory find, 
A sweeter sound than Jesus' name, The Savior of mankind. 
O hope of every contrite heart! 0 joy of all the meek! To those who fall, how kind Thou art! 
How good to those who seek!
But what to those who find? Ah! this Nor tongue nor pen can show 
The love of Jesus, what it is, 
None but His loved ones know. 
Jesus! our only hope be Thou, As Thou our prize shalt be; 
In Thee be all our glory now, And through eternity.

Saint Bernard of Clairvaux, pray for us!

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