Saint Stephen Harding

Saint Stephen HardingAlso known as

  • Stephen of Citeaux
  • Esteban…
  • Etienne…
  • Stefano…
  • Stevan…



Born to the English nobility. After a somewhat mis-spent youth, he was drawn to religious life and entered the Benedictine Sherborne Abbey. Following the Norman conquest of England in 1066, Stephen left the monastic life, moved to Scotland and then to Paris, France to study. Pilgrim to Rome, Italy, seeking forgiveness for having abandoned monasticism. Monk at Molesme Abbey. With Saint Robert of Molesme, he helped begin the Cistercian reform by helping found Citeaux Abbey in 1098. Chosen abbot of the house in 1109, he came in with a reformer’s zeal and administrative skill. Accepted Saint Bernard of Clairvaux into the Order with all the reform and expansion that he and his brothers brought with them. Helped found a dozen other Cistercian houses. amd gave the statutes that started the Cistician nuns. His reform work aimed at simplicity in all things including liturgical rites, church decor, monastic dress, and life in the Order.




Additional Information

MLA Citation

  • “Saint Stephen Harding“. CatholicSaints.Info. 14 April 2021. Web. 16 April 2021. <>