August 2001, Volume 7, Issue 1   
The Presence of God
Rev. Mark Connolly
Thought for the Month
Essensce of Leisure
Rev. Raymond K. Petrucci
One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic...
Rev. Paul Check
Saint of the Month
Bernard of ClairvauxBernard of Clairvaux
August 20

Born in 1090 in the château of his family near Dijon in Burgundy, Bernard led a careless life until the year 1113, when he persuaded four of his brothers and another twenty-seven friends to enter the new and strict monastery at Cîteaux.

So impressive was the young Bernard's commitment to the reformed monastic ideals that after two years the Abbot of Cîteaux sent him to found a daughter house at Clairvaux in Champagne. From Bernard's new foundation no fewer than sixty-eight daughter houses sprang - including Fountains and Rievaulx in Britain. And Bernard's pupils were as famous and important as his monastic foundations. In 1145 one of them was elected pope, and never forgot to whom he owed his deep spirituality.

Bernard had the authority to decided between rival popes and persuade the wayward rulers of Europe to support his choice. He was ready to preach powerfully against the Albigensian heretics of Languedoc. He inspired countless Europeans to follow Emperor Konrad III and King Louis VII on the second crusade. He attacked the teaching of Peter Abelard, which held that reason was man's supreme faculty, and he managed to bring to an end the Jewish pogroms in the Rhineland.

Bernard died at Clairvaux in 1153.

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