St. Bernard of Clairvaux, Abbot and Doctor of the Church. St. Bernard was recognized as the most eloquent & influential man of his age: he was a scholar who advised popes, preached a Crusade, defended the faith, healed a schism, and reformed a monastic Order. His active and holy life was fueled by many hours of prayer and contemplation seeking heavenly guidance.
Bernard, a charismatic leader, was born near Dijon, France, the son of a knight and landowner. At 23 he entered a Benedictine abbey. Two years later he talked four of his brothers and 26 friends into helping him establish a Cistercian abbey at Clairvaux