…On 12th February, one of the Blesseds remembered by the Church is Blessed Humbeline. She was born in 1092 at Fountaine-les-Dijon, France.
Blessed Humbeline was the only daughter of the Lord of Fountaine, and St Bernard of Clairvaux was her brother.
After the death of their mother, St Bernard entered a nearby monastery, three years later forming his own monastery at Clairvaux. St Bernard’s widowed father and his five brothers also joined this monastic community.
A “material girl”
Blessed Humbeline, however, preferred life in the material world. She married an adoring husband who lavished her with wealth, jewels and fine clothes. Blessed Humbeline loved horses and music, having a beautiful voice herself.
Yet over time she missed her brother St Bernard and so she decided to visit him at his monastery.
An unexpected visit
She arrived at the monastery in fine clothes and with a large entourage of people. The gatekeeper of the monastery was horrified at such a display of wealth and St Bernard refused to come and meet his sister.
“I may indeed be a sinful woman…”
She asked the gatekeeper to convey a message to her brother. The message read, “I may indeed be a sinful woman, but it was for such as me that Jesus Christ died.”
These words touched her brother deeply and he relented.
After having met with her brother, Blessed Humbeline rediscovered the spiritual life of her younger days. Many years later she entered a women’s monastery, being regarded as the founder of the Cistercian nuns.
The founder of the Cistercian nuns
Blessed Humbeline died in her brother’s arms in 1135, her last words were those of Psalm 121, “I rejoiced when they said to me, ‘Let us go to the house of the Lord.”
Blessed Humbeline had reminded her brother of the great truth: that Jesus Christ died for all of us, including sinners. Her brother might scorn her wealth and fine appearance, but could not refuse to help her soul and spiritual life. It should be the same for us as well.
– From: Spiritual Thought from Fr. Chris, February 2016