Thursday, March 31, 2011

Bernard of Clairvaux

Bernard of Clairvaux is remembered in part for developing rules for the Knights Templar, and for building the Cistercian order. On March 31, 1146, at Vezelay France, Bernard preached on embarking on a second crusade.

Walter Scott includes a reference to Bernard and the Cistercians in "The Monastery":
"Not I," said Father Philip, in a tone as deferential as he thought could possibly become the Sacristan of Saint Mary's,--"Not I, but the Holy Father of Christendom, and our own holy father, the Lord Abbot, know best. I, the poor Sacristan of Saint Mary's, can but repeat what I hear from others my superiors. Yet of this, good woman, be assured,--the Word, the mere Word, slayetlh. But the church hath her ministers to gloze and to expound the same unto her faithful congregation; and this I say, not so much, my beloved brethren--I mean my beloved sister," (for the Sacristan had got into the end of one of his old sermons,)--"This I speak not so much of the rectors, curates, and secular clergy, so called because they live after the fashion of the _seculum_ or age, unbound by those ties which sequestrate us from the world; neither do I speak this of the mendicant friars, whether black or gray, whether crossed or uncrossed; but of the monks, and especially of the monks Benedictine, reformed on the rule of Saint Bernard of Clairvaux, thence called Cistercian, of which monks, Christian brethren--sister, I would say--great is the happiness and glory of the country in possessing the holy ministers of Saint Mary's, whereof I, though an unworthy brother, may say it hath produced more saints, more bishops, more popes--may our patrons make us thankful!--than any holy foundation in Scotland.

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