Daily Martyrology for August 20

At Clairvaux, in 1153, St. Bernard. Born of aristocratic parents, he entered Cîteaux in 1112, when he was twenty-two. Three years later Stephen Harding (April 17) sent him to found Clairvaux, from which over 300 Cistercian monasteries were subsequently founded, including Rievaulx and Mellifont. Bernard possessed a charismatic personality and a brilliant literary style. He was extremely influential in the church of his day: a champion of austere monastic observance, an opponent of theological innovation, a preacher of the Second Crusade, a goad to bishops and popes, a defender of the Jews, and a mystic who experienced and preached the love of God.

The commemoration of Samuel, the prophet, who anointed David.

In 685, in France, St. Philbert, who founded the monasteries of Jumièges and Noirmoutier.

In 1348, Blessed Bernard Tolomei. He was born in Siena and became a law professor there. He became a hermit and founded the Benedictine Congregation of Our Lady of Monte Oliveto, which expanded rapidly. He died while he and his confreres were ministering to victims of a plague in Siena.

In 1866, in Rome, Maria de Mattias. She grew up in the politically troubled mountainous region between Rome and Naples; this region was much disturbed by the Napoleonic Wars, when whoever were temporarily out of power fled into the hills to live as bandits. The restless and self-absorbed Maria began to take her faith seriously at the age of 16. She worked with missionaries of the Society of the Precious Blood to re-evangelize the area, and eventually founded the Sisters Adorers of the Precious Blood, who combined ministry to women with adoration.

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Our daily martyrology was written by Fr. Hugh Feiss, OSB. Copyright © 2008 by the Monastery of the Ascension, Jerome, ID 83338.