The feast day of St. Stephen Harding is celebrated on April 17.
St. Stephen was born in the eleventh century in Dorset, England. He studied in Paris and Rome. He decided to join the Monastery of Molesme which was Benedictine. Stephen and two other established the Monastery in Citeaux which became the home of twenty monks.
St. Stephen Harding is considered the father of the Cistercian Order. The Cistercian Order sought an effective balance between prayer and serious work. St. Stephen wrote the Charter of Charity which became the guide for the Cistercian monasticism. When St. Bernard joined the order, Stephen installed him as the abbot of the monastery in Clairvaux. With the help of St. Bernard the order flourished.
By the time of St. Stephen’s death thirteen monasteries had been established.
St. Stephen died in 1134. He was canonized in 1623.
O Jesus, make the fount of Your mercy gush forth more abundantly, for mankind is seriously ill and thus has more need than ever of Your compassion.
Quote of St. Faustina Kowalska; Feast day October 5
April is the Month of the Eucharist.