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St. Bernard of Clairvaux and St. Pius X on Our Lady

Fr. Scott Haynes


St. Bernard once said of Our Lady: “In dangers, in doubts, in difficulties, think of Mary, call upon Mary. Let not her name depart from your lips, never suffer it to leave your heart. And that you may more surely obtain the assistance of her prayer, neglect not to walk in her footsteps. With her for (your) guide, you shall never go astray; while invoking her, you shall never lose heart; So long as she is in your mind, you are safe from deception; while she holds your hand, you cannot fall; under her protection you have nothing to fear; if she walks before you, you shall not grow weary; if she shows you favor, you shall reach the goal.”


Pope St. Pius X turns to the great theologian and Doctor of the Church, St. Bernard, to explain that the strict right of the distribution of grace resides with Jesus Christ alone, but that due to her intimate union of suffering with the Redeemer, the task of the distribution of grace has been given to Mary, Mediatrix:

It cannot, of course, be denied that the dispensing of these gifts belongs by strict and proper right to Christ, for they are the exclusive fruit of his death, who by his nature is Mediator between God and man. Nevertheless, by this union in sorrow and suffering, as we have said, which existed between the Mother and the Son, it has been allowed to the august Virgin ‘to be the most powerful mediatrix and advocate of the whole world with her divine Son.’ This source, then, is Jesus Christ. But Mary, as St. Bernard justly remarks, is the ‘channel,’ or, if you will, the neck by which the Body is joined to the Head and by which the Head sends power and strength through to the Body: ‘For she is the neck of our Head by which He communicates to his Mystical Body all spiritual gifts.’

See, Pope St. Pius X, Ad diem illum, 1904; cf., St. Bernard of Clairvaux, Serm. de temp., in Nativ. B. V. de Aquaeductu, n. 4; St. Bernadine of Siena, Quadrag., de Evangelio aeterno, Serm. X, a3, c.3.

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