Bernard of Clairvaux, Saint

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.

Bernard of Clairvaux, Saint

Saint Bernard of Clairvaux (klrvō´), 1090?–1153, French churchman, mystic, Doctor of the Church. Born of noble family, in 1112 he entered the Cistercian abbey of Cîteaux, taking along 4 or 5 brothers and some 25 friends. In 1115 he headed the group sent to found a house at Clairvaux. There he remained abbot all his life, despite many efforts to elevate him to higher ecclesiastical office. A holy life, a reputation for miraculous cures, and unusual eloquence made Bernard renowned, and he became the most powerful religious influence in France and, in time, in all Western Europe. His example and mystical theology had decisive influence on the Cistercian order, and he is sometimes called its second founder. During his lifetime 68 houses were founded out of Clairvaux alone. It was he who led the long struggle to seat Innocent II, the canonically elected pope, and persuaded Lombardy to accept Emperor Lothair II. He procured the condemnation of Peter Abelard and Arnold of Brescia (1140), and he preached the Second Crusade (1146). He was the adviser of popes, especially of his friend Eugene III. He was tireless in journeys to make peace, and he undertook many arduous charitable missions; he stopped a wave of pogroms in the Rhineland (1146) and he repeatedly saved luckless peasants from the powerful. Through his writings, St. Bernard exerted a profound influence on Roman Catholic spirituality. His deep devotion to the Virgin Mary and to the Infant Jesus is evident in his work, which consists of about 330 sermons, some 500 known letters, and 13 treatises. His style, strong and eloquent, full of biblical allusions, and intensely personal and direct, has earned him the name Mellifluous Doctor. Among his sermons, the series of 86 on the Canticles have been favorites (St. Bernard on the Song of Songs, tr. 1952). The most important treatises are On the Steps of Humility and Pride (c.1125; tr. by Geoffrey Webb and Adrian Walker, 1957), On Consideration (1149–53; tr. by E. Kennan, 1989), and On the Love of God (c.1127; tr. by T. L. Connolly, 1951). He was canonized in 1174. Feast: Aug. 20.

See W. Williams, Saint Bernard of Clairvaux (1952); T. Merton, The Last of the Fathers (1954, repr. 1970); O. J. Egres, Saint Bernard, His Life and Teaching (1971); J. R. Sommerfeldt, The Spiritual Teachings of Bernard of Clairvaux (1991).

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Bernard of Clairvaux, Saint
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.