A field guide to renewers, reformers & martyrs recognized and commemorated by
The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

Friday, August 20, 2010

Bernard, Abbot of Clairvaux

Bernard founded the Cisterian monastary, Clairvaux in 1115. There he preached that the Virgin Mary was the primary intercessor (mediatrix) with the divine -- one of the most important developments (mariology) of the church during the twelfth century. He was a "Doctor of the Church," participating in the Council of Troyes where he was instrumental in founding the Rule of the Knights Templar. He was a peacemaker, defender of the faith and an advisor to Kings. In 1146 he was asked by the Pope to preach the Second Crusade, which he did to an enormous crowd with the King of France present. The response was overwhelming -- from the common man as well as royalty. Fervent crusade preaching by a fanatical monk led to the persecution of Jews in Rhineland, Cologne, Worms, etc. Distressed by this news, Bernard traveled personally to Germany to find, confront and silence the monk. The Second Crusade was a failure, a burden Bernard carried until his death in 1153.

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