Our Sure Hope: Entrusting this Academic Year to Our Lady

Aug 17, 2021

As we prepare to begin our 2021 – 2022 academic year, we take to heart the words of our patron, St. Bernard of Clairvaux, from whom comes the motto in our crest, ipsa propitia pervenis:

"O you who find yourself tossed about by the storms of life, turn not your eyes from the brightness of this Star, if you would not be overwhelmed by its boisterous waves.

If the winds of temptations rise, if you fall among the rocks of tribulations, look up at the Star, call on Mary. If anger, covetousness, or other passions beat on the vessel of your soul, look up to Mary. If you begin to sink in the gulf of melancholy and despair, think on Mary. In dangers, in distress, in perplexities, think on Mary, call on Mary.

Let her not depart from your lips, let her not depart from your heart, and, that you may win the suffrage of her prayers, never depart from the example of her life. Following her, you will never go astray; when you implore her aid, you will never yield to despair; thinking on her, you will not err; under her patronage you will never wander; beneath her protection you will not fear; she being your guide, you will not weary; if she be your propitious Star, you will arrive safely in the port [ipsa propitia pervenis], and experience for yourself the truth of the words, 'And the virgin's name was Mary.’”

St. Bernard’s School of Theology and Ministry is consecrated to the Blessed Virgin Mary, our sure hope and brightest star. It is our prayer that she may lead us – faculty, staff, and students alike – into deeper communion with her Son, Jesus Christ, Lord and Savior of the world. May we use our gifts this academic year to be a light for others and, in following the Star, arrive safely to the heavenly port.

St. Bernard of Clairvaux (1090 - 1153; canonized January 18, 1174; feast day August 20th): Cistercian monk and mystic, founder and abbot of the Abbey of Clairvaux, one of the most influential theologians of his time, Father and Doctor of the Church.