An extract from 'Rev. Alexis M. Lepicier, O.S.M. - The Fairest Flower of Paradise'
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'St. Bernard, the great Doctor of the Church, and, as he is called, the last of the Fathers, was famous for the holiness of his life and the splendor of his doctrine. . . One year, on Christmas night, he was favored with a heavenly vision. The Divine Child appeared to him and deigned to instruct him in the glorious mystery of the Incarnation, which the Church celebrates at that time. From this vision there arose in him that tender devotion and ardent love for the Mother of God, which the Saint afterward transfused into the hearts of many, through the sermons he wrote in her honor. Our Lady failed not to correspond to this love of Bernard for her by showing a special predilection for her faithful servant. She granted him extraordinary favors. And so this devotion to the Queen of Heaven, which is the source of great fruit to souls, produced in the heart of St. Bernard this result: it made him realize the wisdom of the world is foolishness with God. So, at the age of twenty-two, he left his father's home and asked to be admitted into the Cistercian Order.'