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Saint Bernard of Clairvaux

Updated on September 12, 2009

About Saint Bernard of Clairvaux

In the small town of Fonatines, located in France, Saint Bernard of Clairvaux was born in the year 1090. Bernard was taught from an early age, by his mother, how to be a good Christian. Bernard is remembered as the patron saint of bee keepers and candle makers. Saint Bernard endured a tough loss at an early age with the passing away of his mother.

Bernard mourned the loss of his beloved mother, who taught him so much about being a good Christian. He decided a few months after her passing that he wanted to lead a religious life. Bernard chose to become a Cistercian monk. Bernard showed quick progress as a monk and became very well respected quickly. He was so well thought of that after three short years in the monastery he resided in, he was asked if he would leave to start up a brand new monastery in a nearby village. This new monaster, located in Clairvaux, is where Bernard made a name for himself as a great preacher.

A problematic event occured not too long after Bernard started his monastery. Pope Honorius II died in February of 1130, and the Catholic community could not come to a final decision on who would become the next pope. Bernard and a group of six other men were chosen to lead a committee to make that decision. They chose Bernard of Pisa to become the new pope because Saint Bernard knew of Bernard of Pisa and was friendly with him. The other men on the committee trusted Saint Bernard that his choice would be a good pope.

Bernard's decision would prove to be a quality one, and the church would then call upon him for advice again. They asked him to travel to a part of France where heresy was becoming a large problem. Bernard's wonderful speeches were persuasive enough to change the minds of many to quit their blasphemous ways.

Saint Bernard would continue his religious and righteous lifestyle until Augst 20, 1153. This is when Bernard passed away. In 1174, Pope Alexander III canonized Bernard a saint.


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