The saint for February 12
Blessed Humbeline
Optional Memorial
Cistercian Calendar

Born. 1092
Cultus Confirmed. 1763

The vivacious and popular younger sister of St
Bernard of Clairvaux. According to one account,
although married to Guy de Marcy, Humbeline was so
affected by a visit she undertook to her older
brother that she desired to leave the world and
enter the Benedictine religious order. She obtained
his permission, and entered the convent at Jully les

Other acta of St. Bernard tell it differently, that
the social butterfly was vain and proud, and that when
she went out to see her brother, he could not bring
himself to receive her. This broke her heart and
pierced her worldliness, whereupon she is said to
have cried out:

"I know I am a sinner; but did not Jesus Christ
die for such persons as I am? If my brother despises
my body, let not the servant of God despise my soul.
Let him come, let him command, let him order I will
obey him; I will do whatever he desires me."

Then St. Bernard rushed out to greet her, and took
her aside to give her counsel as to what she should
do. He reminded her of the wonderful example
of their mother, and counseled her to live the
vocation of her married life in a holy manner.
Humbeline, much chastened, returned home and began
a new, converted life. She entered the convent upon
the death of her husband. Eventually she was elected
Abbess at Jully. She died in her brother's arms, in
the odor of sanctity.

Considering especially the wording of the morning
prayer of the Cistercian liturgy for her optional
memorial, the latter version is probably more
reliable.I may also deduce from her appearance on
the Cistercian calendar, that the reference to Jully
as a Benedictine monastery, does not preclude their
following the stricter Cistercian offshoot of
Benedict's Rule.

From the Cistercian liturgy of the day:

"God our Father, You are the hope of everyone
who feels truly widowed and alone. Through
the intercession of Saint Humbeline, May we submit
to you in sincere humility, And so pass through the
good things of this world as not to lose the good
things of the world to come."
Patronage: Loss of Parents Invoke for: Inner Conversion, Repentance
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