Bernard of Clairvaux

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Bernard of Clairvaux

Saint. ?1090--1153, French abbot and theologian, who founded the stricter branch of the Cistercians in 1115

Bernard of Clairvaux


(Bernardus abbas Clarae Vallis). Born 1090, at Fontaine, Burgundy; died Aug. 20, 1153, in Clairvaux. Figure in the Catholic Church, theologian, and mystic.

Bernard of Clairvaux came from a noble Burgundian family. At the age of 23 he became a monk of the Cistercian Order, and in 1115 he became abbot of the monastery that he founded in Clairvaux. He participated in the creation of the order of the holy knights, the Templars, and he inspired the Second Crusade (1147). He opposed the theological rationalism of P. Abelard and various heretical tendencies. Defending the firmness of church tradition and criticizing emerging Scholasticism for innovation, Bernard simultaneously gave sharply personal spirit to mysticism. Bernard’s mystical texts are characterized by lyricism and an attempt to expose the human ego. They exerted a strong influence on the mystical psychologism of the late Middle Ages (G. Bonaventure, H. Suso, and others). In 1174, Bernard of Clairvaux was canonized.


Opera, vols. 1–6. Paris, 1855–59. (Patrologiae cursus compl., ser. latina . . . , vols. 182–185. Edited by J.-P. Migne.)
In Russian translation:
“Pis’ma.” In P. Abelard, Istoriia moikh bedstvii. Moscow, 1959. Pages 127–51.


Ger’e, V. Zapadnoe monashestvo i papstvo. Moscow, 1913. Pages 27–138.
Sidorova, N. A. Ocherki po istorii rannei gorodskoi kul’tury vo Frantsii. Moscow, 1953.
Gilson, E. La théologie mystique de Saint Bernard. Paris, 1947.
Hiss, W. Die Anthropologie Bernhards von Clairvaux. Berlin, 1924.


References in periodicals archive ?
Saint Bernard of Clairvaux, who intones his prayer to the Blessed Virgin at the end, fulfills something of a unique role, in that he represents reality both inside and outside Dante's poetic and Templer-gnostic conception (Strelka, 237-43).
Bernard of Clairvaux was one of Benedict's most important commentators from the twelfth century and into the late Middle Ages, and his Sententiae offer a number of reflections on the importance of patience.
When Turner has adequate documentary sources, Eleanor appears as a ferociously intelligent and perceptive woman constrained by the growing misogyny of a Church dominated by the likes of Bernard of Clairvaux and the growing professionalism of the royal household administration through which Eleanor's predecessors had been able to establish their authority.
Malachy, his career and his Life by Bernard of Clairvaux in order to examine, in the wider sphere, the changes to monastic culture with the introduction of continental monastic orders, and particularly the impact of Augustinian and Cistercian usage.
There is, for example, a good study of Peter Damian and an important one on Bernard of Clairvaux, who defended Jews' lives during the Second Crusade (in view of their expected ultimate conversion) but whose sermons and letters are replete with sentiments that are "strongly anti-Semitic" (p.
The first four chapters survey monastic intentionality from Anthony and Benedict, through Martin of Tours and Cluny, to Bernard of Clairvaux and Martin Luther.
A picture of Saint Bernard of Clairvaux in full habit hangs above the fireplace in the reception room.
Unlike Alonso Cano's St Bernard of Clairvaux in the Miracle of Lactation, currently in the exhibition 'The Sacred Made Real' at the National Gallery, London (see opposite), there is no need to say to Gill's breast-feeding Virgins (Fig.
Medieval saints also tend toward a more cardio-centric interpretation of power: Catherine of Siena places the heart at the center, Bernard of Clairvaux was the first to assert that Christ's heart was pierced on the cross, and Bonaventure relates that the holy are living within the heart of Christ, with the wound as the entryway (36).
This last point has important implications for the Jewish response to so-called Christian Zionism, and to the general phenomenon of eschatological protectionism, as propounded by Augustine and Bernard of Clairvaux.
Some of the most moving and intimate of Rubin's evocations of Marian culture are the personal encounters of celibate men and women with Mary: the freedom with which 12th-century Cistercians contemplated her as their special protector, consoler and guide, so that Bernard of Clairvaux through his reflections on the Song of Songs could envision his prayer in terms of suckling at her breast; or 13th-century nuns sharing their visions of Mary visiting them with her baby son and giving him to them to be cuddled, kissed and held.
Founded by St Bernard of Clairvaux in 1132 and became one of England's wealthiest monasteries before its dissolution by King Henry VIII in 1538.