Thought for the Day – 25 September – “O element, O loving, O sweet Virgin Mary!”

Thought for the Day – 25 September – The Memorial of Blessed Herman of Reichenau/the Cripple OSB (1013–1054) the Author of the Salve Regina


In the year 1146 Saint Bernard, the illustrious doctor of the Church and abbot of Clairvaux, was travelling through Germany and by the power of his eloquence was rousing the people of that country to the necessity of entering upon another crusade, a spirited one, in order to wrest from the iron grasp of the heathens those places in Palestine that had been sanctified by the footsteps and moistened with the blood, of our holy Redeemer.

Passing from Switzerland, by way of Strasbourg, Saint Bernard sailed down the river Rhine and landed at Spire, on Christmas Eve, 1146.   In a grand procession, composed of the civic societies and trades unions, with their banners waving in the air and holding lighted tapers in their hands, followed in turn by the clergy with their bishop clad in pontifical robes, Saint Bernard was conducted, amid every sign of respect from the multitudes who lined the streets of the city, to the majestic cathedral.

Here, amid the chant of the choristers and the joyful pealing of the bells, the great preacher of the holy wars was met by the Emperor Conrad and all the royal princes of the court, who tendered to their illustrious guest the welcome of their realm.

It was a scene of great magnificence as the saint crossed the threshold of the sacred edifice.   Thousands had to remain outside the building, for the saint’s great reputation for sanctity and the fame of the wondrous miracles that he had wrought, as well as his renowned eloquence, had drawn vast crowds from far and near, eager to get a glimpse of his venerable person.

As the solemn procession, preceded by the cross and other standards, marched slowly up the grand aisle of the cathedral, a choir of a thousand voices chanted the hymn, “Salve, Regina,” or “Hail, holy Queen.”   The lofty vaults of the sacred edifice spanning many altars ablaze with a thousand lights, the soldierly form of the emperor, the venerable mien of the holy bishops, the long files of white-robed priests, the vast crowds of admiring people, the inspiring strains of the music and all this but the expression of truly Catholic hearts, over-powered the soul of Saint Bernard with emotions of intense gratitude to God and His blessed Mother.

The altar was reached as the singers’ voices repeated the last words of the “Salve, Regina.”    A profound silence ensued as the words, “Et Jesum, benedictum fructum ventris tui, nobis post hoc exilium ostende” – that is, “Show unto us the blessed fruit of thy womb, Jesus,” died away. In a moment of inspiration, and overwhelmed with the loftiest sentiments of piety towards the Blessed Virgin, the great Saint Bernard, in thrilling tones, exclaimed spontaneously,
“O clemens, O pia, O dukis Virgo Maria!”
that is, “O element, O loving, O sweet Virgin Mary!”

From that moment the “Salve, Regina” continued to have a new ending.   The love-breathing words of Saint Bernard, the honey-tongued doctor, as holy Church styles him, were universally adopted and added, with a will by all, to the “Salve, Regina” originally composed by Blessed Herman the Cripple.

They form a beautiful and fitting ending to a beautiful apostrophe to the Mother of God. In the cathedral at Spire, every day, from that time till our day, the “Salve, Regina” is sung solemnly in memory of the events so sacred which led to the inspired composition of its present ending and in memory of the saint who uttered the beautiful words.

Salve Regina, Pray for us, O Holy Mother of God!

V Pray for us, O holy Mother of God,
℟ that we may be made worthy
of the promises of Christ.

Blessed Herman, Pray for Us!
St Bernard, Pray for us!salve regina pray for us - mary 27 march 2019.jpg



Passionate Catholic. Being a Catholic is a way of life - a love affair "Religion must be like the air we breathe..."- St John Bosco Prayer is what the world needs combined with the example of our lives which testify to the Light of Christ. This site, which is now using the Traditional Calendar, will mainly concentrate on Daily Prayers, Novenas and the Memorials and Feast Days of our friends in Heaven, the Saints who went before us and the great blessings the Church provides in our Catholic Monthly Devotions. This Site is placed under the Patronage of my many favourite Saints and especially, St Paul. "For the Saints are sent to us by God as so many sermons. We do not use them, it is they who move us and lead us, to where we had not expected to go.” Charles Cardinal Journet (1891-1975) This site adheres to the Catholic Church and all her teachings. PLEASE ADVISE ME OF ANY GLARING TYPOS etc - In June 2021 I lost 95% sight in my left eye and sometimes miss errors. Thank you and I pray all those who visit here will be abundantly blessed. Pax et bonum! 🙏

8 thoughts on “Thought for the Day – 25 September – “O element, O loving, O sweet Virgin Mary!”

  1. I cried while I was reading all of the post. O that I have the best loving, elegant spiritual partner in my life. I cried for happy by the way. Hugs and kisses 💋 Annie. Love, Hughie

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That makes ME happy too dearest Hughie! I must say, one of my all-time besties is St Bernard and of course, his great love for our most Holy Mother, makes him even more special.
      Most of all, I am happy that you cried with joy!
      May God bless you and may Mary, our Mother protect you, always, Hughie.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Very nice summary on St Bernardo and the last part of the Salve Regina. Could you please tell me the source. Thank you and God bless Fr Arthur

    El mié., 25 sept. 2019 a las 3:00, AnaStpaul () escribió:

    > AnaStpaul posted: “Thought for the Day – 25 September – The Memorial of > Blessed Herman of Reichenau/the Cripple OSB (1013–1054) the Author of the > Salve Regina THE “SALVE, REGINA” RECEIVES AN ADDITION In the year 1146 > Saint Bernard, the illustrious doctor of the Church and ” >

    Liked by 1 person

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