New Catholic Dictionary – Saint Bernard of Clairvaux

painting of Saint Bernard of Clairvaux, the church of Heiligenkreuz Abbey near Baden bei Wien, Lower Austria, by Georg Andreas WasshuberArticle

(10901153) Confessor, abbot, Doctor of the Church, born Castle Fontaines, near Dijon, France; died Clairvaux, France. Particular care was taken with his education, because his great destiny had been predicted before his birth; he showed remarkable interest and talent in litcrature. With his father and brother and 30 noblemen, Bernard entered the Benedictine monastery at Citeaux, in 1113. He was sent, 1115, at the head of a band of monks to found the house at Clairvaux and was consecrated abbot. He practised such austerities that his health was seriously impaired. The perfection of the monastic life there became the model for the 163 monasteries of the Cistercian reform founded by Bernard. The fame of his learning spread and he became the defender of the Church against the erroneous teaching of Abelard, Arnold of Brescia, and Gilbert de La Porree, championed Pope Innocent II, causing him to be recognized as supreme pontiff in France, England, Ireland, and Germany, and preached the second Crusade, 11331137. His writings breathe the most tender devotion to Our Lord and His Blessed Mother. Many miracles are ascribed to him. Patron of bees and wax chandlers. Emblems: Holy Communion, pen, bees, and instruments of the Passion. Canonized, 1174. Relics at Clairvaux; skull in the cathedral of Troyes. Feast, Roman Calendar, 20 August.

MLA Citation

  • “Saint Bernard of Clairvaux”. New Catholic Dictionary. CatholicSaints.Info. 17 August 2012. Web. 19 October 2020. <>