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.
St. Thomas Aquinas, priest and doctor of the Church, patron of all universities and of students. His feast day is January 28th. He was born toward the end of the year 1226. He was the son of ... continue readingMore Saint of the Day
By tradition Joachim and Anne are considered to be the names of the parents of Mary, the Mother of God. We have no historical evidence, however, of any elements of their lives, including their names. Any stories about Mary's father and mother come to us through legend ... continue readingMore Female Saints
St. Michael the Archangel - Feast day - September 29th The name Michael signifies "Who is like to God?" and was the warcry of the good angels in the battle fought in heaven against satan and his followers. Holy Scripture describes St. Michael as "one of the chief ... continue reading
The name Gabriel means "man of God," or "God has shown himself mighty." It appears first in the prophesies of Daniel in the Old Testament. The angel announced to Daniel the prophecy of the seventy weeks. His name also occurs in the apocryphal book of Henoch. He was the ... continue reading
Barbara lived in the 4th century and brought up as a heathen. A tyrannical father, Dioscorus, had kept her jealously secluded in a lonely tower which he had built for that purpose. Here, in her ... 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 ... continue readingMore Christian Saints & Heroes