An Episcopal Dictionary of the Church


(1090-Aug. 20, 1153). Influential monk who was called the “Pope maker” and “the uncrowned emperor of Europe.” He was born in Fontaines, France, and entered the Cistercian monastery at Citeaux, France, in 1113. In 1115 he established a Cistercian monastery at Clairvaux and became its abbot. In 1130 both Innocent II and Anacletus II claimed to be Pope, resulting in controversy. Bernard sided with Innocent II and became his confidant and advisor. His influence with the papacy increased even more when Eugenius III, a monk of Clairvaux, became the Pope. Bernard was a leading mystic of the period, and he had a great impact on medieval devotional life. His literary masterpiece was On Loving God. He also was called “The Mellifluous Doctor” because of his eloquence. His work as a monastic reformer earned him the title, “second founder of the Cistercian Order.” He was declared a saint in 1174. He was named a Doctor of the Church in 1830. The hymn, “O Jesus, joy of loving hearts,” numbers 649, 650, in The Hymnal 1982, is attributed to Bernard. He died in Clairvaux. Bernard is commemorated in the Episcopal calendar of the church year on Aug. 20.

Glossary definitions provided courtesy of Church Publishing Incorporated, New York, NY,(All Rights reserved) from “An Episcopal Dictionary of the Church, A User Friendly Reference for Episcopalians,” Don S. Armentrout and Robert Boak Slocum, editors.