Benedictine abbot and reformer and the founder of the abbey of Citeaux, France, which became the motherhouse of the great monastic order of the Cistercians. A native of Troyes, he was born to noble parents in Champagne. At the age of fifteen, he entered the Benedictine Abbey of Moutier la Celle, near Troyes, where he became prior and abbot of Saint Michael de Tonnere in 1068. He attempted to introduce extensive reforms to the community but met with such resistance that he retired in 1071 and returned to Moutier la Celle. Soon after, a group of hermits in the forest of Collan petitioned Robert to become their head. At first he declined, but the monks persevered and, after winning papal approval for their community, they convinced Robert to accept. In 1074, Robert moved the hermits into the monastery he established at Molesmes. Within a few years, Molesmes grew in size and wealth, and with the prosperity came laxity of discipline. Robert tried without success to resist, and so resigned, going to the hermitage at Or. Though recalled, he remained only until 1098 when he stepped down once more in the face of obdurate resistance by the monks to reinstate full monastic rigor. After winning permission, Robert left with twenty one monks and founded a new community at Citeaux on March 21, 1098. Called by Robert the Novum Monasterium, Citeaux was established with the invaluable aid of Eudes II, duke of Burgundy, and soon acquired much fame for the depth of its spirituality. Much chastened, the monks of Molesmes petitioned to have Robert returned to them. As its abbot once more, Robert turned Molesmes into a leading center for reform, while Citeaux became the heart of the Cistercian order. Robert died as abbot of Molesmes; this was soon extended to the Universal Chruch.
The writings of St. Irenaeus entitle him to a high place among the fathers of the Church, for they not only laid the foundations of Christian theology but, by exposing and refuting the errors of the ... continue readingMore Saint of the Day
St. Genevieve was born about the year 422, at Nanterre near Paris. She was seven years old when St. Germain of Auxerre came to her native village on his way to great Britain to combat the heresy of Pelagius. The child stood in the midst of a crowd gathered around the ... continue readingMore Female Saints
Saint Michael the Archangel isn't a saint, but rather he is an angel, and the leader of all angels and of the army of God. This is what the title "Archangel" means, that he is above all the others in rank. St. Michael has four main responsibilities or offices, as we ... continue reading
Margaret was an English princess. She and her mother sailed to Scotland to escape from the king who had conquered their land. King Malcolm of Scotland welcomed them and fell in love with the beautiful princess. Margaret and Malcolm were married before too long. As ... continue reading
St. Leo the Great was born in Tuscany. As deacon, he was dispatched to Gaul as a mediator by Emperor Valentinian III. He reigned as Pope between 440 and 461. He persuaded Emperor Valentinian to recognize the primacy of the Bishop of Rome in an edict in 445. The ... continue reading
By Deacon Keith Fournier
This great defender of the faith insisted on the central claim of Christianity: God can be known and loved-indeed, that is why He came into our midst in the person of His Son; so that through a relationship with Jesus Christ, man could participate in the very ... continue readingMore Christian Saints & Heroes