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Saturday, 19 April 2014


The religious order, the Cistercians was founded in 1098 by Saint Robert of Molesme (1090-1153). in Citeaux, France.

The Cistercian order was a reaction against the increasingly corrupt, worldly behavior of other orders and the monks desired to live a simple lifestyle, in accordance with a literal interpretation of Saint Benedict's Rule. Its emphasis was on solitude, poverty, and simplicity.

In 1115 St Bernard of Clairvaux (1090-1153) founded with a dozen Cistercians a new house of Clairvaux in a remote valley in the Champagne region of France.

By the late 1120s, the monastery had become under Bernard of Clairvaux’s rule the most prominent of the Cistercian order. Bernard’s eloquent preaching and the miracles witnessed there attracted numerous pilgrims.

The severity of the Cistercians proved very successful and St Bernard established 343 monasteries before he died.

The Cistercian monks need to be early risers. Their day starts at 2.15 am when they file to church for night-office and community mass.

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