Thursday, October 18, 2012

Ave, Maria. Salve, Bernarde.

The current Lady chapel at Affligem. (Source.)

Today the Menology gives us the story of one of the encounters between Our Lady and St. Bernard:

In Belgium, at Afflinghem Monastery, Commemoration of the Most Holy virgin Mary, when, by the mouth of a stature piously venerated and kept therein, She saluted in a loud, clear tone, St. Bernard, in the presence of the Community and of a crowd of people. “Ave, Maria,” cried St. Bernard, with great devotion, genuflecting the while. “Salve, Bernarde,” replied a voice all Heavenly.”

St. Bernard’s visit to the Cluniac Abbey of Affligem is believed to have taken place in 1146. According to some accounts, he left his staff and chalice there, which were preserved as memorials of the miracle.

The Virgin and St. Bernard on the north door of the Cathedral of Speyer. (Source.)

A similar story is recorded about an apparition in the Cathedral of Speyer, when St. Bernard is said to have spontaneously uttered the words, “O Clemens, O Dulcis, O Pia” at the conclusion of the Salve Regina, thus giving the antiphon a new ending. Three circular mosaics in the Cathedral floor were installed at the place where St. Bernard was said to have knelt at each phrase. In one chronicler's variant of the Speyer story, St. Bernard rebukes the statue, saying that women should be silent in Church. It does sound like something he might have said.