Memorial of St. Oglerio

Scripture Readings: Col 2:6-15; Lk 6:12-19

Today we honor St. Oglerio, an Italian Cistercian Abbot who died in the year 1214.  He’s such an unknown saint that we don’t even know what to call him.  There are five variations of his name.  And we don’t know when he was born. One scholar suggests 1136, but another scholar says this is “wanting in probability.”  So why do we have any interest in him at all?  Why?  Because of a manuscript found in the seventeenth century containing thirteen homilies “In Praise of God’s Holy Mother” and fourteen homilies “On Our Lord’s Words to His Disciples at the Last Supper.”  They are so well written that at first they were attributed to St. Bernard.  Not so! They were composed by Abbot Oglerio. 

But I have a confession to make.  I find that reading the works of our Cistercian Fathers is boring almost to the point of frustration.  So, why do it?  I do it in search of those sweet words of wisdom that are like diamonds scattered and buried in volcanic rocks.  Life is like that.  The good things we seek take effort and sweat.  Oglerio writes, “Each of us is to work without ceasing at what is for our eternal good.” 1  So, what word of wisdom have a found in St. Oglerio’s writings to share with you?  I don’t have one. I’m still searching for it because words of wisdom, like diamonds, aren’t found every day. 

  1. Oglerio, Third Homily on the Lord’s Words to His Disciples at the Last Supper, Cistercian Publications Kalamazoo, MI, 2012, 194.