Thursday, September 8, 2011

Saint Bernard on the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary

From a Sermon of St. Bernard, the Abbot.

Behold how many things shine like stars in the geneology of Mary!  First of all, that she was sprung from kings; that she was of the seed of Abraham; that she was of the noble lineage of David.  If this be too little, add thereto: that she is known to have been divinely granted to that lineage on account of its singular privilege of holiness; that she was promised from heaven to the fathers thereof long beforehand; that she was befigured by mysterious wonders; that she was foretold in the oracles of the Prophets.  For she was prefigured by the priestly rod of Aaron, blossoming without root; by Gideon's fleece, full of the dew of heaven in the midst of the dry threshing-floor; by the eastern gate in the vision of Ezekiel, which had never been opened to anyone.  Again, it was of her, above all others, that Isaiah foretold. First, he speaketh of the rod that would rise from the root of Jesse; and then later of the Virgin that would bring forth Emmanuel.  Rightly doth the Apocalypse say: And there appeared a great wonder in heaven: for this same had previously been figured from heaven by all these things granted therefrom under the Old Covenant.

6 comments:

Paul said...

In the Lutheran Service Book, how do we get Gregory the Great, Pastor (sic) and NOT the Nativity of the BVM?!

Dcn Latif Haki Gaba SSP said...

Good question, Paul. I know that one of the answers would be that Saint Gregory is historical while Mary's birth is apocryphal (the facts of it, not the fact of it). There is certainly also a desire to avoid going beyond the chief marian feasts (annunciation, purification, visitation, dormition). On the other hand, the last of these (dormition), is likewise an event which, like her birth, happened, yet the deails of which are apocryphal.

gnesiolutheran said...

Interestingly, I own a 19th-century Lutheran hymnal which lists "Guburts-Marias" (Nativity BVM) in its calendar. Its packed away right now so have no publisher details right now.

Dcn Latif Haki Gaba SSP said...

very nice. when you can, share more info on that.

gnesiolutheran said...

The hymnal was published in German by the old Buffalo Synod ca.1908. It also lists Ss. Martin, Lawrence, Gregory and Catherine among the commemorations.

Dcn Latif Haki Gaba SSP said...

very cool.