At 7:30 PM on Saturday, I caught my third baby of the day, the son of a long-suffering mother named Beatrice. I was so glad she gave birth at last because her labor had really been paining her all day. The next day, Sunday, I was lying on my bed, praying about her son’s name, and it came to me: Bernard.
Beatrice is Catholic believer, and it is common among Catholics to name babies after saints. I was thinking of St. Bernard of Clairvaux, a 12th century French Christian contemplative who wrote a series of remarkably beautiful sermons on the Song of Solomon. The medieval Italian poet Dante was so inspired by this saint that he made him, as well as his beloved Beatrice, one of the guides who led him through heaven in his allegorical dream vision poem, The Divine Comedy. It seemed to be the right name for Beatrice’s son.
When I went to speak to her about this name, she told me that her son’s father’s name is Bernard, too! So she named her son Bernard. I prayed that this baby would be filled with the love of God and would become a spiritual leader in his community one day.