The next day, after Bernard made his opening statement, Abelard decided to retire without attempting to answer. [14], Having previously helped end the schism within the Church, Bernard was now called upon to combat heresy. Bernard was named a Doctor of the Church in 1830. By penitential practices he so exhausted his body that it could hardly sustain his soul, ever eager to praise and honor God. Lothair II became Innocent's strongest ally among the nobility. It was this general chapter that gave definitive form to the constitutions of the order and the regulations of the Charter of Charity, which Pope Callixtus II confirmed on 23 December 1119. This led for a time to the exaltation of human reason and rationalism. But opting out of some of these cookies may have an effect on your browsing experience. It is now housed in the Treasury of Troyes Cathedral and can be seen there, together with the skull and thighbone of St Malachy, a friend and contemporary of St Bernard. The archbishop of Cologne and the archbishop of Mainz were vehemently opposed to these attacks and asked Bernard to denounce them. In our opinion past researchers have generally failed to credit St Bernard with the pivotal role he played in the planning, formation and promotion of the infant Templar Order. However, Innocent insisted on Bernard's company when he met with Lothair II, Holy Roman Emperor. Whether an ‘intention’ to create an Order of the Templar sort existed prior to the life of St Bernard himself is a matter open to debate. In May of that year, the pope, supported by the army of Lothair III, entered Rome, but Lothair III, feeling himself too weak to resist the partisans of Anacletus, retired beyond the Alps, and Innocent sought refuge in Pisa in September 1133. [8] In 1118 Trois-Fontaines Abbey was founded in the diocese of Châlons; in 1119 Fontenay Abbey in the Diocese of Autun; and in 1121 Foigny Abbey near Vervins, in the diocese of Laon. But once out of Bernard's presence, he reneged. Bernard's parents were Tescelin de Fontaine, lord of Fontaine-lès-Dijon, and Alèthe de Montbard [fr], both members of the highest nobility of Burgundy. Saint Bernard of Clairvaux. It was at this council that Bernard traced the outlin… [24] Calvin also quotes him in setting forth his doctrine of a forensic alien righteousness, or as it is commonly called imputed righteousness. ‘Believe me, for I know, you will find something far greater in the woods than in books. King Louis VI of France convened a national council of the French bishops at Étampes in 1130, and Bernard was chosen to judge between the rivals for pope. He may also have been related to the Counts of Champagne, who themselves appear to have been pivotal in the formation of the Templar Order. This he did, but when the campaign continued, Bernard traveled from Flanders to Germany to deal with the problems in person. Born Fontaine de Dijon France 1090. A new critical ed. The din of arms, the danger, the labors, the fatigues of war, are the penances that God now imposes upon you. You can come and participate at whatever level you're comfortable with. The death of his contemporaries served as a warning to Bernard of his own approaching end. He had a special devotion to the Virgin Mary, and he later wrote several works about the Queen of Heaven.[4]. [4], The beginnings of Clairvaux Abbey were trying and painful. [3] In the year 1128, Bernard attended the Council of Troyes, at which he traced the outlines of the Rule of the Knights Templar,[a] which soon became the ideal of Christian nobility. [13] Bernard sent him, at the pope's own request, various instructions which comprise the Book of Considerations, the predominating idea of which is that the reformation of the Church ought to commence with the sanctity of the pope. Bernard died at the age of 63, after 40 years as a monk. St. Bernard of Clairvaux. The zeal of Bernard extended to the bishops, the clergy, and lay people. He subsequently denounced the teachings of Peter Abelard to the pope, who called a council at Sens in 1141 to settle the matter. by S. J. Eales of the Life and Works of St. Bernard Clairvaux from the ed. [6], So great was his reputation that princes and Popes sought his advice, and even the enemies of the Church admired the holiness of his life and the greatness of his writings. 12/26/2020 In accordance with provincial restrictions to slow the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, all in-person Masses in the Archdiocese of Toronto are temporarily cancelled. He then returned to Clairvaux. Although the councils of Étampes, Würzburg, Clermont, and Rheims all supported Innocent, large portions of the Christian world still supported Anacletus. After the council of Étampes, Bernard spoke with King Henry I of England, also known as Henry Beauclerc, about Henry I's reservations regarding Pope Innocent II. Read his meditations on prayer and God’s love. At the time of the French Revolution St Bernard’s skull was taken for safekeeping to Switzerland, eventually finding its way back to Troyes. Believing himself at last secure in his cloister, Bernard devoted himself with renewed vigour to the composition of the works which won for him the title of "Doctor of the Church". "[18], Bernard then passed into Germany, and the reported miracles which multiplied almost at his every step undoubtedly contributed to the success of his mission. For this, he was offered, and he refused, the archbishopric of Milan. He was sent to found a new abbey at an isolated clearing in a glen known as the Val d'Absinthe, about 15 kilometres (9.3 mi) southeast of Bar-sur-Aube. [15] Henry of Lausanne's followers became known as Henricians. She, with the consent of her husband, soon took the veil in the Benedictine nunnery of Jully-les-Nonnains. At his death, they numbered 343. He also preached against Catharism. Pope Innocent II died in the year 1143. Hugues de Payens – The First Grand Master. Bernard was only nineteen years of age when his mother died. On 31 March, with King Louis VII of France present, he preached to an enormous crowd in a field at Vézelay, making "the speech of his life". St Bernard was a visionary, a man of apparently tremendous religious conviction. The Templars were officially declared to be a monastic order under the protection of Church in Troyes in 1139. From this point barely a decision was made in Rome that was not influenced in some way by St Bernard himself. Abelard's treatise on the Trinity had been condemned as heretical in 1121, and he was compelled to throw his own book into the fire. 1/4. Bernard expanded upon Anselm of Canterbury's role in transmuting the sacramentally ritual Christianity of the Early Middle Ages into a new, more personally held faith, with the life of Christ as a model and a new emphasis on the Virgin Mary. However, Abelard continued to develop his teachings, which were controversial in some quarters. Completed eight years later in 1141, the Monastery was dedicated to the Blessed Mother and was originally named ‘The Monastery of … His texts are prescribed readings in Cistercian congregations. These nine volumes offer an intriguing glimpse into the life and works of St. Bernard of Clairvaux, a twelfth-century Cistercian abbot and Doctor of the Church. He appears to have received a good, standard education, at Chatillon-sur-Seine, which fitted him, most probably, for a life in the Church, which, of course, is exactly the direction he eventually took. Saint Bernard de Clairvaux French abbot. At the time of St Bernard’s arrival the abbey was under the guiding hand of Stephen, later St Stephen Harding, an Englishman. Peter the Venerable, abbot of Cluny, answered Bernard and assured him of his great admiration and sincere friendship. St. Bernard, Abbot of Clairvaux one of the most illustrious preachers and monks of the middle ages, was born at Fontaines, near Dijon, in France. This he did, almost certainly, at the behest of Bernard and possibly as a result of promises he had made to this end at the time Bernard showed him the support which led to the Vatican. [5] During the absence of the Bishop of Langres, Bernard was blessed as abbot by William of Champeaux, Bishop of Châlons-sur-Marne. In 1120, Bernard wrote his first work, De Gradibus Superbiae et Humilitatis, and his homilies which he entitled De Laudibus Mariae. This appointment should not be underestimated, for it was Pope Innocent II who formally accepted ‘The Poor Knights of Christ and the Temple of Solomon’ (The Knights Templar) into the Catholic fold. At the age of 22, while Bernard was at prayer in a church, he felt the calling of God to enter the monastery of Cîteaux. Bernard was instrumental in the appointment of GREGORIO PAPARESCHI, Pope Innocent II in the year 1130, despite the fact that not all agencies supported the man for the Papal throne. In 1144 Eugene III commissioned Bernard to preach the Second Crusade[6] and granted the same indulgences for it which Pope Urban II had accorded to the First Crusade. [6] In 1113 Stephen Harding had just succeeded Alberic as third Abbot of Cîteaux when Bernard and thirty other young noblemen of Burgundy sought admission into the monastery. During his youth, he did not escape trying temptations and around this time he thought of retiring from the world and living a life of solitude and prayer. He may have undertaken this task personally and they were based, almost entirely, on the Order adopted by the Cistercians themselves. [6], Bernard was instrumental in re-emphasizing the importance of lectio divina and contemplation on Scripture within the Cistercian order. Bernard considered lectio divina and contemplation guided by the Holy Spirit the keys to nourishing Christian spirituality. Only three years later St Bernard, still an extremely young man, (25 years) was dispatched, together with a small band of monks, to a site at Clairvaux, near Troyes, in Champagne, there to become Abbott of his own establishment. [4] William yielded and the schism ended. Bernard was the third of seven children, six of whom were sons. [5], Bernard had occupied himself in sending bands of monks from his overcrowded monastery into Germany, Sweden, England, Ireland, Portugal, Switzerland, and Italy. The question appears to be easily answered for in the small Templar type Church in St Bernard’s birthplace there is a marble plaque that states the Church was built by St Bernard’s mother in thanks for the safe return of her husband from the Crusade. Three years later, Bernard was sent with a band of twelve monks to found a new house at Vallée d'Absinthe,[6] in the Diocese of Langres. [4], Towards the close of the 11th century, a spirit of independence flourished within schools of philosophy and theology. He was the first Cistercian placed on the calendar of saints, and was canonized by Pope Alexander III on 18 January 1174. Many stories exist regarding Bernard’s early years – his visions, torments and realisations. Main Cistercian monk and mystic, the founder and abbot of the abbey of Clairvaux and one of the most influential churchmen of his time. Bernard had returned to France in June and was continuing the work of peacemaking which he had commenced in 1130. The enthusiasm of the assembly of Clermont in 1095, when Peter the Hermit and Urban II launched the first crusade, was matched by the holy fervor inspired by Bernard as he cried, "O ye who listen to me! The influence of the Abbot of Clairvaux was soon felt in provincial affairs. Hasten to appease the anger of heaven, but no longer implore its goodness by vain complaints. The influence of the Abbot of Clairvaux was soon felt in provincial affairs. Study the chronology of St. Bernard’s life through his collected letters. Abelard submitted without resistance, and he retired to Cluny to live under the protection of Peter the Venerable, where he died two years later. Bernard is Dante Alighieri's last guide, in Divine Comedy, as he travels through the Empyrean. born 1090, probably Fontaine-les-Dijon, near Dijon, Burgundy died Aug. 20, 1153, Clairvaux, Champagne; canonized Jan. 18, 1174; feast day August 20. Saint Bernard of Clairvaux. In the first part, he proved himself innocent of the charges of Cluny and in the second he gave his reasons for his counterattacks. Bernard's influence was soon felt in provincial affairs. In a letter to the people of Toulouse, undoubtedly written at the end of 1146, Bernard calls upon them to extirpate the last remnants of the heresy. Having previously helped end the schism within the church, Bernard was now called upon to combat heresy. The bishops made Bernard secretary of the council, and charged him with drawing up the synodal statutes. A much fuller and more comprehensive detailed biography of St Bernard’s life can be found in ‘The Knights Templar Revealed’ Butler and Dafoe, Constable and Robinson – 2006. [4], In 1139, Bernard assisted at the Second Council of the Lateran, in which the surviving adherents of the schism were definitively condemned. You can just sit and let the music and words wash over you. In 1141, at the urgings of Abelard, the archbishop of Sens called a council of bishops, where Abelard and Bernard were to put their respective cases so Abelard would have a chance to clear his name. [16] His preaching, aided by his ascetic looks and simple attire, helped doom the new sects. Bernard, abbot of Clairvaux 1115–1153, was one of the most eloquent preachers and spiritual writers of the medieval period. For whatever reason St Bernard wrote the first ‘rules’ of the Templar Order. After the death of his mother, Bernard sought admission into the Cistercian order. Bernard answered the letter by saying that, if he had assisted at the council, it was because he had been dragged to it by force, replying: Now illustrious Harmeric if you so wished, who would have been more capable of freeing me from the necessity of assisting at the council than yourself? In our opinion past researchers have generally failed to credit St Bernard with the pivotal role he played in the planning, formation and promotion of the infant Templar Order. All of these were attributed to Bernard after his canonisation and therefore must surely be taken with a pinch of salt. He decided in favour of Innocent II. [19], Unlike the First Crusade, the new venture attracted royalty, such as Eleanor of Aquitaine, Queen of France; Thierry of Alsace, Count of Flanders; Henry, the future Count of Champagne; Louis's brother Robert I of Dreux; Alphonse I of Toulouse; William II of Nevers; William de Warenne, 3rd Earl of Surrey; Hugh VII of Lusignan, Yves II, Count of Soissons; and numerous other nobles and bishops. In particular he was a staunch opponent of the dialectician ‘Peter Abelard’, a man whom St Bernard virtually destroyed when Abelard refused to accept Bernard’s own criticism of his radical ideas. Bernard of Clairvaux may well represent the most important figure in Templarism. Bernard’s influence grew within the established Church of his day. At the conference held at Palermo, Bernard succeeded in convincing Roger of the rights of Innocent II. While […]. It is known that the land upon which Clairvaux was built was donated by the Count of Champagne, based at the nearby city of Troyes. Much could be written about the ‘nature’ of St Bernard. Space here does not permit a full handling of this extraordinary man’s life or his interest in so many subjects, including architecture, music and (probably) ancient manuscripts. From that moment a strong friendship sprang up between the abbot and the bishop, who was professor of theology at Notre Dame of Paris, and the founder of the Abbey of St. Victor, Paris. This Bernard named Claire Vallée, or Clairvaux, on 25 June 1115, and the names of Bernard and Clairvaux soon became inseparable. He hastened to terminate his worldly life and restore discipline in his monastery. James Meeker Ludlow describes the scene romantically in his book The Age of the Crusades: A large platform was erected on a hill outside the city. Cardinal Harmeric, on behalf of the pope, wrote Bernard a sharp letter of remonstrance stating, "It is not fitting that noisy and troublesome frogs should come out of their marshes to trouble the Holy See and the cardinals."[4]. In the conclaveAnacletus IIwas elected by a narrow mnargin, but many influential cardinals favored the contender, Pope Innocent … Bernard's informal political influence was further enhanced with the election of Pope Eugenius III, one of Bernard's former pupils. [4], In the year 1119, Bernard was present at the first general chapter of the order convoked by Stephen of Cîteaux. He protested his profound esteem for the Benedictines of Cluny whom he declared he loved equally as well as the other religious orders. "[20], When Bernard was finished the crowd enlisted en masse; they supposedly ran out of cloth to make crosses. Patronage. Bernard's letters to William of St-Thierry also express his apprehension about confronting the preeminent logician. Another time, an immense number of flies, that had infested the Church of Foigny, died instantly after the excommunication he made on them. Bernard of Clairvaux may well represent the most important figure in Templarism. Conrad III of Germany and his nephew Frederick Barbarossa, received the cross from the hand of Bernard. [13] He was buried at the Clairvaux Abbey, but after its dissolution in 1792 by the French revolutionary government, his remains were transferred to Troyes Cathedral. Bernard, informed of this by William of St-Thierry, is said to have held a meeting with Abelard intending to persuade him to amend his writings, during which Abelard repented and promised to do so. To understand St Bernard’s importance to Cistercianism it is first necessary to study the Order in detail. Stones and trees will teach you that which you cannot learn from the masters.’. Born in 1090, at Fontaines, near Dijon, France; died at Clairvaux, 21 August, 1153. Bernard had a great taste for literature and devoted himself for some time to poetry. Bernard of Clairvaux (1090-1153) may well represent the most important figure in Templarism. Died Clairvaux, near Troyes, Champagne France August 20th 1153. This category only includes cookies that ensures basic functionalities and security features of the website. It is a fact that the Templars venerated St Bernard from that moment on, until their own demise in 1307. The purpose of this council was to settle certain disputes of the bishops of Paris, and regulate other matters of the Church of France. Bernard had observed that when lectio divina was neglected monasticism suffered. rolled over the fields, and was echoed by the voice of the orator: "Cursed be he who does not stain his sword with blood. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. The monastery, however, made rapid progress. St Bernard died in Clairvaux on August 20th 1153, a date that would soon become his feast day, for St Bernard was canonised within a few short years of his death. Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. As in the olden scene, the cry "Deus vult! Only the influence of a trusted friend and the order of the Chapter General convinced Bernard to ease up on his stringent regime. Abstract. Bernard of Clairvaux (Latin: Bernardus Claraevallensis; 1090 - 20 August 1153), venerated as Saint Bernard, was a Burgundian abbot, and a major leader in the revitalization of Benedictine monasticism through the nascent Order of Cistercians.. Your email address will not be published. St. Bernard of Clairvaux, (born 1090, probably Fontaine-les-Dijon, near Dijon, Burgundy [France]—died August 20, 1153, Clairvaux, Champagne; canonized January 18, 1174; feast day August 20), Cistercian monk and mystic, founder and abbot of the abbey of Clairvaux and one of the most influential churchmen of his time. The Church of St. Bernard de Clairvaux. St Bernard enters history in an indisputable sense at the age of 23 years, when together with a very large group of his brothers, cousins and maybe other kin, (probably between 25 and 30) he rode into the abbey of Citeaux, Dijon. Some of these, at the command of Innocent II, took possession of Tre Fontane Abbey, from which Eugene III was chosen in 1145. He also silenced the final supporters who sustained the schism. Bernard's "Prayer to the Shoulder Wound of Jesus" is often published in Catholic prayer books. He was accused of being a monk who meddled with matters that did not concern him. Innocent II, having been banished from Rome by Anacletus, took refuge in France. Bernard's letter to the archbishop of Sens was seen as a real treatise, "De Officiis Episcoporum." It was at this council that Bernard traced the outlines of the Rule of the Knights Templar who soon became the ideal of Christian nobility. This website uses cookies to improve your experience. At the Eucharist, he "admonished the Duke not to despise God as he did His servants". Conrad III and his son Henry died the same year. Actually St Bernard contributed to condemning certain teachings of Abelard at the Provincial Synod of Sens in 1140 and went so far as to request Pope Innocent II's intervention. [29] Pope Pius VIII bestowed on him the title "Doctor of the Church". Anacletus died of "grief and disappointment" in 1138, and with him the schism ended. With a mixture of simple, religious zeal and some extremely important family connections, this little man involved himself in the general running, not only of the Cistercian Order, but the Roman Church of his day.