Summer 1967

Page 85

Saint Stephen Harding, founder of the Cistercian Order and one of the great figures of mediaeval monasticism, has been called an intellectual, a scholar, a puritan, a stoic-names he was not called in his own lifetime and names which do not describe him fairly or completely. That he was scholarly, there is no doubt, for he left us ample evidence of this. That he was an intellectual is A contemplative also evident, though not in the genius has sense some attach to the word. significance today He was educated, well eduin re-evaluating cated; he was courteous, kindcontemplative life ly, gently in manner--characzn the Church teristics inherited from his Anglo-Saxon monastic heri+ tage. He had none of the mercurial extremes in his CLIFFORD STEVENS temperament for which his disciple, Saint Bernard of + Clairvaux, was noted, but he was fully as brilliant, endowed with qualities of leadership the Cistercian Order did not see again for another century, and was a man of pointed and impassioned convictions. He was appreciated more in the generation that followed him than he would ever be again in Cistercian history. This generation described him as the dux et signifer ordinis, "the


o/ a


Turn static files into dynamic content formats.

Create a flipbook
Issuu converts static files into: digital portfolios, online yearbooks, online catalogs, digital photo albums and more. Sign up and create your flipbook.