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St. Berno of Cluny

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Feastday: January 13
Birth: 850
Death: 927

The father of Berno is said to have been the French nobleman Odon, who provided a refuge for the Benedictine community of Glanfeuil after the monks had been driven from their monastery by the Normans. Berno, a teenager at the time, assisted his father in welcoming the exiled monks. Following his father's death, Berno gave away his inheritance and entered a Benedictine monastery, that of Saint Martin in Autun. Having been devout from his childhood, he manifested in the monastery an exceptional spirit of obedience and fidelity to the rule. He was appointed abbot of the monastery of Baume, which he restored both spiritually and materially. In 910 he was sent to found and govern what would become one of Europe's most important monasteries, the abbey of Cluny. He implemented for the new abbey a stricter, modified form of the Benedictine rule. Under Berno's successors, Cluny became one of the most influential institutions in medieval Europe. As a center of piety and learning it gave four popes to the Church, and governed over eight hundred other monasteries by the fifteenth century.


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