St. Bernard

The reformer of the Cistercian Order was born to a French noble family in 1090 or 1091. Already as a boy, he manifested compassionate love for the poor. After his mother died, he and his brothers went to a Cistercian monastery. In the year of 1115, he was appointed abbot and founded a monastery in Clairvaux with very strict discipline. Because of his wisdom, he arbitrated disputes of the powerful, defended the truth and justice and helped the oppressed and distressed. He helped to settle back-then schisms of the Church, became an advisor of popes and many considered him the actual head of the Church. In the year of 1144, Bernard organized a crusade against the Saracenes. It is believed that poet Dante Alighieri said that Bernard’s poem Salve Regina is sung by angels in Heaven. He died in 1153. Bernard was canonized in 1174 and declared Doctor of the Church in 1830. He is a patron of beekeepers and wax-chandlers. His attributes are a book, cross and beehive.


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