This last small group of Bernard's sermons to be published in translation by Cistercian Publications rightly goes by the title De varii in the critical edition. While most of them treat feasts on the church calendar, they do so in a somewhat hit-or-miss fashion. Three sermons also deal with God's will, God's mercies, and the gifts of the Holy Spirit. Two sermons for the feast of Saint Victor are a response to a request to Bernard from the monks of Montmarey; the Bollandist Life of Saint Victor appears here as a complement to those sermons. Besides the nine sermons normally assigned to the De varii, this volume also includes a sermon on the feast of Saint Benedict that was recently added to the collection in Sources Chrétiennes. The survival of this loose assemblage of sermons outside of the organized collections of Bernard's sermons provides a reminder of Bernard as preacher and writer, able despite all his other activities to turn his hand to preaching when called upon. While they treat of disparate themes, they allow us to encounter the quintessential Bernard-speaking of the life of desire, the true meaning of holiness, and the awakening of the spiritual senses in the search for God.
Sr. Grace Remington, OCSO, has been a nun of Our Lady of the Mississippi Abbey near Dubuque, Iowa, since 1997. She studied Latin at Grinnell College, where she graduated with a degree in biology. She currently serves the community as cook, gardener, and raiser of chickens.
Alice Chapman (PhD in 2006, University of Cambridge) is associate professor of history at Grand Valley State University in Allendale, Michigan. Her areas of interest are monasticism, medieval political thought, and spiritual health and wellness in the Middle Ages. She has published several articles on Bernard of Clairvaux, and her book, Authority and Power in the Writings of Bernard of Clairvaux, was published by Brepols in 2013.