Irenaeus was a Greek cleric noted for his role in guiding and expanding Christian communities in what is now the south of France and, more for the development of Christian theology by combatting heresy and defining orthodoxy. Originating from Smyrna, now Izmir in Turkey, he had heard the preaching of Polycarp, who in turn was said to have heard John the Evangelist. Chosen as bishop of Lugdunum, now Lyon, his best-known work is On the Detection and Overthrow of the So-Called Gnosis cited as Adversus Haereses, an attack on gnosticism, in particular that of Valentinus. To counter the doctrines of the gnostic sects claiming secret wisdom, he offered three pillars of orthodoxy: the scriptures, the tradition handed down from the apostles, the teaching of the apostles' successors. Intrinsic to his writing is that the surest source of Christian guidance is the church of Rome, he is the earliest surviving witness to regard all four of the now-canonical gospels as essential, he is recognized as a saint in the Catholic Church on 28 June, in the Eastern Orthodox Church on 23 August.
Irenaeus was born during the first half of the 2nd century, he was a Greek from Polycarp's hometown of Smyrna in Asia Minor, now İzmir, Turkey. Unlike many of his contemporaries, he was brought up in a Christian family rather than converting as an adult. During the persecution of Marcus Aurelius, the Roman Emperor from 161–180, Irenaeus was a priest of the Church of Lyon; the clergy of that city, many of whom were suffering imprisonment for the faith, sent him in 177 to Rome with a letter to Pope Eleutherius concerning the heresy Montanism, that occasion bore emphatic testimony to his merits. While Irenaeus was in Rome, a persecution took place in Lyon. Returning to Gaul, Irenaeus succeeded the martyr Saint Pothinus and became the second Bishop of Lyon. During the religious peace which followed the persecution of Marcus Aurelius, the new bishop divided his activities between the duties of a pastor and of a missionary. All his writings were directed against Gnosticism; the most famous of these writings is Adversus haereses.
Irenaeus alludes to coming across Gnostic writings, holding conversations with Gnostics, this may have taken place in Asia Minor or in Rome. However, it appears that Gnosticism was present near Lyon: he writes that there were followers of'Marcus the Magician' living and teaching in the Rhone valley. Little is known about the career of Irenaeus; the last action reported of him is that in 190 or 191, he exerted influence on Pope Victor I not to excommunicate the Christian communities of Asia Minor which persevered in the practice of the Quartodeciman celebration of Easter. Nothing is known of the date of his death, which must have occurred at the end of the 2nd or the beginning of the 3rd century. A few within the Roman Catholic Church and Orthodox Church celebrate him as a martyr, he was buried under the Church of Saint John in Lyon, renamed St Irenaeus in his honour. The tomb and his remains were utterly destroyed in 1562 by the Huguenots. Irenaeus wrote a number of books. In Book I, Irenaeus talks about the Valentinian Gnostics and their predecessors, who he says go as far back as the magician Simon Magus.
In Book II he attempts to provide proof that Valentinianism contains no merit in terms of its doctrines. In Book III Irenaeus purports to show that these doctrines are false, by providing counter-evidence gleaned from the Gospels. Book IV consists of Jesus' sayings, here Irenaeus stresses the unity of the Old Testament and the Gospel. In the final volume, Book V, Irenaeus focuses on more sayings of Jesus plus the letters of Paul the Apostle; the purpose of "Against Heresies" was to refute the teachings of various Gnostic groups. Irenaeus argued that the true gnosis is in fact knowledge of Christ, which redeems rather than escapes from bodily existence; until the discovery of the Library of Nag Hammadi in 1945, Against Heresies was the best-surviving description of Gnosticism. Some religious scholars have argued the findings at Nag Hammadi have shown Irenaeus' description of Gnosticism to be inaccurate and polemic in nature. However, the general consensus among modern scholars is that Irenaeus was accurate in his transmission of Gnostic beliefs, that the Nag Hammadi texts have raised no substantial challenges to the overall accuracy of Irenaeus' information.
Religious historian Elaine Pagels criticizes Irenaeus for describing Gnostic groups as sexual libertines, for example, when some of their own writings advocated chastity more than did orthodox texts. However, the Nag Hammadi texts do not present a single, coherent picture of any unified Gnostc system of belief, but rather divergent beliefs of multiple Gnostic sects; some of these sects were indeed libertine. Irenaeus wrote The Demonstration of the Apostolic Preaching, an Armenian copy of, discovered in 1904; this work seems to have been an instruction for recent Christian converts. Eusebius attests to other works by Irenaeus, today lost, including On the Ogdoad, an un
Saint Thomas Aquinas was an Italian Dominican friar, Catholic priest, Doctor of the Church. He is an immensely influential philosopher and jurist in the tradition of scholasticism, within which he is known as the Doctor Angelicus and the Doctor Communis; the name Aquinas identifies his ancestral origins in the county of Aquino in present-day Lazio, Italy. He was the father of Thomism, his influence on Western thought is considerable, much of modern philosophy developed or opposed his ideas in the areas of ethics, natural law and political theory. Unlike many currents in the Church of the time, Thomas embraced several ideas put forward by Aristotle—whom he called "the Philosopher"—and attempted to synthesize Aristotelian philosophy with the principles of Christianity, his best-known works are the Disputed Questions on Truth, the Summa contra Gentiles, the Summa Theologiae. His commentaries on Scripture and on Aristotle form an important part of his body of work. Furthermore, Thomas is distinguished for his eucharistic hymns, which form a part of the Church's liturgy.
The Catholic Church honors Thomas Aquinas as a saint and regards him as the model teacher for those studying for the priesthood, indeed the highest expression of both natural reason and speculative theology. In modern times, under papal directives, the study of his works was long used as a core of the required program of study for those seeking ordination as priests or deacons, as well as for those in religious formation and for other students of the sacred disciplines. Thomas Aquinas is considered philosophers. Pope Benedict XV declared: "This Order... acquired new luster when the Church declared the teaching of Thomas to be her own and that Doctor, honored with the special praises of the Pontiffs, the master and patron of Catholic schools." The English philosopher Anthony Kenny considers Thomas to be "one of the dozen greatest philosophers of the western world". Thomas was most born in the castle of Roccasecca, Aquino, in the Kingdom of Sicily, c. 1225, According to some authors, he was born in the castle of Landulf of Aquino.
Though he did not belong to the most powerful branch of the family, Landulf of Aquino was a man of means. As a knight in the service of King Roger II, he held the title miles. Thomas's mother, belonged to the Rossi branch of the Neapolitan Caracciolo family. Landulf's brother Sinibald was abbot of the first Benedictine monastery at Monte Cassino. While the rest of the family's sons pursued military careers, the family intended for Thomas to follow his uncle into the abbacy. At the age of five Thomas began his early education at Monte Cassino but after the military conflict between the Emperor Frederick II and Pope Gregory IX spilled into the abbey in early 1239, Landulf and Theodora had Thomas enrolled at the studium generale established by Frederick in Naples, it was here that Thomas was introduced to Aristotle and Maimonides, all of whom would influence his theological philosophy. It was during his study at Naples that Thomas came under the influence of John of St. Julian, a Dominican preacher in Naples, part of the active effort by the Dominican order to recruit devout followers.
There his teacher in arithmetic, geometry and music was Petrus de Ibernia. At the age of nineteen Thomas resolved to join the founded Dominican Order. Thomas's change of heart did not please his family. In an attempt to prevent Theodora's interference in Thomas's choice, the Dominicans arranged to move Thomas to Rome, from Rome, to Paris. However, while on his journey to Rome, per Theodora's instructions, his brothers seized him as he was drinking from a spring and took him back to his parents at the castle of Monte San Giovanni Campano. Thomas was held prisoner for one year in the family castles at Monte San Giovanni and Roccasecca in an attempt to prevent him from assuming the Dominican habit and to push him into renouncing his new aspiration. Political concerns prevented the Pope from ordering Thomas's release, which had the effect of extending Thomas's detention. Thomas passed this time of trial tutoring his sisters and communicating with members of the Dominican Order. Family members became desperate to dissuade Thomas.
At one point, two of his brothers resorted to the measure of hiring a prostitute to seduce him. According to legend, Thomas drove her away wielding a fire iron and two angels appeared to him as he slept and strengthened his determination to remain celibate. By 1244, seeing that all of her attempts to dissuade Thomas had failed, Theodora sought to save the family's dignity, arranging for Thomas to escape at night through his window. In her mind, a secret escape from detention was less damaging than an open surrender to the Dominicans. Thomas was sent first to Naples and to Rome to meet Johannes von Wildeshausen, the Master General of the Dominican Order. In 1245 Thomas was sent to study at the Faculty of the Arts at the University of Paris, where he most met Dominican scholar Albertus Magnus the holder of the Chair of Theology at the College of St. James in Paris; when Albertus was sent by his superiors to teach at the new studium generale at Cologne in 1248, Thomas followed him, declining Pope Innocent
Francis de Sales
Francis de Sales was a Bishop of Geneva and is honored as a saint in the Catholic Church. He became noted for his deep faith and his gentle approach to the religious divisions in his land resulting from the Protestant Reformation, he is known for his writings on the topic of spiritual direction and spiritual formation the Introduction to the Devout Life and the Treatise on the Love of God. Francis de Sales was born on 21 August 1567 in the Château de Sales into the noble Sales family of the Duchy of Savoy, in what is today Thorens-Glières, Haute-Savoie, France, his father was François de Sales, Lord of Boisy and Novel. His mother was Françoise de Sionnaz, the only child of prominent magistrate, Melchior de Sionnaz, a noblewoman, he was baptized Francis Bonaventura, after two great Franciscan saints. His father wanted him, the first of his six sons, to attend the best schools in preparation for a career as a magistrate, he therefore enjoyed a privileged education in the nearby town of La Roche-sur-Foron, at the age of eight at the Capuchin college in Annecy.
In 1583, De Sales went to the Collège de Clermont in Paris a Jesuit institution, to study rhetoric and humanities. As a nobleman, he was accompanied by a priest tutor, Abbe Deage. To please his father, he took lessons in the gentlemanly pursuits of riding and fencing. De Sales is described as intelligent and handsome and well built with blue-grey eyes, somewhat reserved and quiet, a welcome guest in the homes of the nobility among whom his father had connections. In 1584 Francis de Sales attended a theological discussion about predestination, convincing him of his damnation to hell. A personal crisis of despair resulted; this conviction lasted through December 1586. His great despair made him physically ill and bedridden for a time. Sometime in either late December or early January 1587, with great difficulty, he visited the old parish of Saint-Étienne-des-Grès, where he prayed the "Memorare" before a famed statue of Our Lady of Good Deliverance, a Black Madonna, he consecrated himself to the Blessed Virgin Mary, decided to dedicate his life to God with a vow of chastity.
He became a tertiary of the Minim Order. Sales concluded that God had good in store for him, because "God is love", as John's First Epistle attests; this faithful devotion to God not only expelled his doubts but influenced the rest of his life and his teachings. His way of teaching Catholic spirituality is referred to as the Way of Divine Love, or the Devout Life, taken from a book he wrote of a similar name: Introduction to the Devout Life. In 1588 Sales completed his studies at Collège de Clermont and enrolled at the University of Padua in Italy, where he studied both law and theology, he took a priest in Society of Jesus, as his spiritual director. There he made up his mind about becoming a priest. In one incident, he rode a horse, his sword fell to the ground and crossed another sword, making the sign of the Christian cross. In 1592, de Sales received his doctorate in theology, he made a pilgrimage to Loreto, famous for its Basilica della Santa Casa and returned home to Savoy. The Senate of Chambéry admitted him as a lawyer.
Meanwhile, his father secured various positions including an appointment as senator. His father chose a wealthy noble heiress as his bride, but Francis refused preferring to stay focused on his chosen path. His father refused to accept that Francis had chosen the priesthood rather than fulfill his expectations with a political-military career. Claude de Granier Bishop of Geneva and after signing over to his younger brother his rights of family succession, Francis was ordained in 1593, he received a promised appointment as provost of the cathedral chapter of Geneva. In his capacity as provost, Francis de Sales engaged in enthusiastic campaigns of evangelism in an area that had become completely Calvinist. According to J. Ehni, despite de Sales' zeal and patience he met with absolute failure at Thonon, the capital of the Chablais province, where the residents had made an agreement to refuse to hear the eloquent preacher. At first Francis lived in a fortress garrisoned by the Duke of Savoy's soldiers.
Several times he escaped death at the hands of assassins. He traveled to Rome and Paris, where he forged alliances with Pope Clement VIII and Henry IV of France. In 1599 he was appointed coadjutor bishop of Geneva. In 1601, he was sent on a diplomatic mission to Henry IV, where he was invited to give Lenten sermons at the Chapel Royal; the morals at court reflected those of the king, which were notoriously bad, yet Henry became attached to Francis, is said to have observed, "A rare bird, this Monsieur de Genève, he is devout and learned. A rare combination."While in Paris, he met Cardinal Berulle and was, for a time, Madame Acarie's confessor. They consulted with him on matters such as the introduction of St. Teresa's Carmelites into France and plans for the reforming of monasteries and convents, he was consulted on matters of conscience by persons at court. In 1602, Bishop Granier died, Sales was consecrated Bishop of Geneva by Vespasien Gribaldi, assisted by Thomas Pobel and Jacques Maistret, O.
Carm. as co-consecrators. He resided in Annecy because Geneva therefore closed to him, his diocese became famous throughout Europe for its efficient organization, zealous
Hildegard of Bingen
Hildegard of Bingen known as Saint Hildegard and Sibyl of the Rhine, was a German Benedictine abbess, composer, Christian mystic and polymath. She is considered to be the founder of scientific natural history in Germany. Hildegard was elected magistra by her fellow nuns in 1136. One of her works as a composer, the Ordo Virtutum, is an early example of liturgical drama and arguably the oldest surviving morality play, she wrote theological and medicinal texts, as well as letters, liturgical songs, poems, while supervising miniature illuminations in the Rupertsberg manuscript of her first work, Scivias. She is noted for the invention of a constructed language known as Lingua Ignota. Although the history of her formal consideration is complicated, she has been recognized as a saint by branches of the Roman Catholic Church for centuries. On 7 October 2012, Pope Benedict XVI named her a Doctor of the Church. Hildegard was born around the year 1098, her parents were Mechtild of Merxheim-Nahet and Hildebert of Bermersheim, a family of the free lower nobility in the service of the Count Meginhard of Sponheim.
Sickly from birth, Hildegard is traditionally considered their youngest and tenth child, although there are records of only seven older siblings. In her Vita, Hildegard states that from a young age she had experienced visions; because of Hildegard's visions, or as a method of political positioning, Hildegard's parents offered her as an oblate to the Benedictine monastery at the Disibodenberg, reformed in the Palatinate Forest. The date of Hildegard's enclosure at the monastery is the subject of debate, her Vita says she was professed with an older woman, the daughter of Count Stephan II of Sponheim, at the age of eight. However, Jutta's date of enclosure is known to have been in 1112, when Hildegard would have been fourteen, their vows were received by Bishop Otto Bamberg on All Saints' Day, 1112. Some scholars speculate that Hildegard was placed in the care of Jutta at the age of eight, the two women were enclosed together six years later. In any case and Jutta were enclosed together at the Disibodenberg, formed the core of a growing community of women attached to the male monastery.
Jutta was a visionary and thus attracted many followers who came to visit her at the cloister. Hildegard tells us that Jutta taught her to read and write, but that she was unlearned and therefore incapable of teaching Hildegard sound biblical interpretation; the written record of the Life of Jutta indicates that Hildegard assisted her in reciting the psalms, working in the garden and other handiwork, tending to the sick. This might have been a time. Volmar, a frequent visitor, may have taught Hildegard simple psalm notation; the time she studied music could have been the beginning of the compositions she would create. Upon Jutta's death in 1136, Hildegard was unanimously elected as magistra of the community by her fellow nuns. Abbot Kuno of Disibodenberg asked Hildegard to be Prioress. Hildegard, wanted more independence for herself and her nuns, asked Abbot Kuno to allow them to move to Rupertsberg; this was to be a move towards poverty, from a stone complex, well established to a temporary dwelling place.
When the abbot declined Hildegard's proposition, Hildegard went over his head and received the approval of Archbishop Henry I of Mainz. Abbot Kuno did not relent until Hildegard was stricken by an illness that kept her paralyzed and unable to move from her bed, an event that she attributed to God's unhappiness at her not following his orders to move her nuns to a new location in Rupertsberg, it was only when the Abbot himself could not move Hildegard that he decided to grant the nuns their own monastery. Hildegard and about twenty nuns thus moved to the St. Rupertsberg monastery in 1150, where Volmar served as provost, as well as Hildegard's confessor and scribe. In 1165 Hildegard founded a second monastery for her nuns at Eibingen. Before Hildegard's death, a problem arose with the clergy of Mainz. A man buried in Rupertsburg had died after excommunication from the Church. Therefore, the clergy wanted to remove his body from the sacred ground. Hildegard did not accept this idea, replying that it was a sin and that the man had been reconciled to the church at the time of his death.
Hildegard said that she first saw "The Shade of the Living Light" at the age of three, by the age of five she began to understand that she was experiencing visions. She used the term'visio' to describe this feature of her experience, recognized that it was a gift that she could not explain to others. Hildegard explained that she saw all things in the light of God through the five senses: sight, taste and touch. Hildegard was hesitant to share her visions, confiding only to Jutta, who in turn told Volmar, Hildegard's tutor and secretary. Throughout her life, she continued to have many visions, in 1141, at the age of 42, Hildegard received a vision she believed to be an instruction from God, to "write down that which you see and hear." Still hesitant to record her visions, Hildegard became physically ill. The illustrations recorded in the book of Scivias were visions that Hildegard experienced, causing her great suffering and tribulations. In her first theological text, Hildegard describes her struggle within: But I, though I saw and heard these things, refused to write for a l
Gregory of Nyssa
Gregory of Nyssa known as Gregory Nyssen, was bishop of Nyssa from 372 to 376 and from 378 until his death. He is venerated as a saint in Roman Catholicism, Eastern Orthodoxy, Oriental Orthodoxy, Anglicanism. Gregory, his elder brother Basil of Caesarea, their friend Gregory of Nazianzus are collectively known as the Cappadocian Fathers. Gregory lacked the administrative ability of his brother Basil or the contemporary influence of Gregory of Nazianzus, but he was an erudite theologian who made significant contributions to the doctrine of the Trinity and the Nicene Creed. Gregory's philosophical writings were influenced by Origen. Since the mid-twentieth century, there has been a significant increase in interest in Gregory's works from the academic community involving universal salvation, which has resulted in challenges to many traditional interpretations of his theology; the book of Acts depicts that on the Day of Pentecost there were visiting Jews who were "residents of... Cappadocia" in attendance.
In the First Epistle of Peter, written after AD 65, the author greets Christians who are "exiles scattered throughout…Cappadocia." There is no further reference to Cappadocia in the rest of the New Testament. Christianity arose in Cappadocia late with no evidence of a Christian community before the late second century AD. Alexander of Jerusalem was the first bishop of the province in the early to mid third century, a period in which Christians suffered persecution from the local Roman authorities; the community remained small throughout the third century: when Gregory Thaumaturgus acceded to the bishopric in c. 250, according to his namesake, the Nyssen, there were only seventeen members of the Church in Caesarea. Cappadocian bishops were among those at the Council of Nicaea; because of the broad distribution of the population, rural bishops were appointed to support the Bishop of Caesarea. During the late fourth century there were around fifty of them. In Gregory's lifetime, the Christians of Cappadocia were devout, with the cults of the Forty Martyrs of Sebaste and Saint George being significant and represented by a considerable monastic presence.
There were some adherents of heretical branches of Christianity, most notably Arians and Messalians. Gregory was born around 335 in or near the city of Neocaesarea, Pontus, his family was aristocratic and Christian - according to Gregory of Nazianzus, his mother was Emmelia of Caesarea, his father, a rhetorician, has been identified either as Basil the Elder or as a Gregory. Among his eight siblings were St. Macrina the Younger, St. Naucratius, St. Peter of Sebaste and St. Basil of Caesarea; the precise number of children in the family was contentious: the commentary on 30 May in the Acta Sanctorum, for example states that they were nine, before describing Peter as the tenth child. It has been established that this confusion occurred due to the death of one son in infancy, leading to ambiguities in Gregory's own writings. Gregory's parents had suffered persecution for their faith: he writes that they "had their goods confiscated for confessing Christ." Gregory's paternal grandmother, Macrina the Elder is revered as a saint and his maternal grandfather was a martyr as Gregory put it "killed by Imperial wrath" under the persecution of the Roman Emperor Maximinus II.
Between the 320's to the early 340's the family rebuilt its fortunes, with Gregory's father working in the city of Neocaeaseria as an advocate and rhetorician. Gregory's temperament is said to be quiet and meek, in contrast to his brother Basil, known to be much more outspoken. Gregory was first educated by his mother Emmelia and sister Macrina. Little is known. Apocryphal hagiographies depict him studying at Athens, but this is speculation based on the life of his brother Basil, it seems more that he continued his studies in Caesarea, where he read classical literature and medicine. Gregory himself claimed that his only teachers were Basil, "Paul and the rest of the Apostles and prophets". While his brothers Basil and Naucratius lived as hermits from c. 355, Gregory pursued a non-ecclesiastical career as a rhetorician. He did however, he is known to have married a woman named Theosebia during this period, sometimes identified with Theosebia the Deaconess, venerated as a saint by Orthodox Christianity.
This is controversial and other commentators suggest that Theosebia the Deaconess was one of Gregory's sisters. In 371, the Emperor Valens split Cappadocia into two new provinces, Cappadocia Prima and Cappadocia Secunda; this resulted in complex changes in ecclesiastical boundaries, during which several new bishoprics were created. Gregory was elected bishop of the new see of Nyssa in 372 with the support of his brother Basil, metropolitan of Caesarea. Gregory's early policies as bishop went against those of Basil: for instance, while his brother condemned the Sabellianist followers of Marcellus of Ancyra as heretics, Gregory may have tried to reconcile them with the church. Gregory faced opposition to his reign in Nyssa, and, in 373 Amphilochius, bishop of Iconium had to visit the city to quell discontent. In 375 Desmothenes of Pontus convened a synod at Ancyra to try Gregory on charges of embezzlement of church funds and irregular ordination of bishops, he was arrested by imperial troops in the winter of the same year, but escaped to an unknown location.
The synod of Nyssa, convened in the spring of 376, deposed him. However, Gregory regained his see in 378 due to an amnesty promulgated by the new emperor Gratian. In the same year Basil die
Bernard of Clairvaux
Bernard of Clairvaux, O. Cist was a French abbot and a major leader in the reform of Benedictine monasticism that caused the formation of the Cistercian order. "... He was sent to found a new abbey at an isolated clearing in a glen known as the Val d'Absinthe, about 15 kilometres southeast of Bar-sur-Aube. According to tradition, Bernard founded the monastery on 25 June 1115, naming it Claire Vallée, which evolved into Clairvaux. There Bernard would preach an immediate faith, in which the intercessor was the Virgin Mary." In the year 1128, Bernard attended the Council of Troyes, at which he traced the outlines of the Rule of the Knights Templar, which soon became the ideal of Christian nobility. On the death of Pope Honorius II on 13 February 1130, a schism broke out in the Church. King Louis VI of France convened a national council of the French bishops at Étampes in 1130, Bernard was chosen to judge between the rivals for pope. By the end of 1131, the kingdoms of France, Germany, Portugal and Aragon supported Innocent.
Bernard set out to convince these other regions to rally behind Innocent. In 1139, Bernard assisted at the Second Council of the Lateran, he subsequently denounced the teachings of Peter Abelard to the pope, who called a council at Sens in 1141 to settle the matter. Bernard soon saw one of his disciples elected Pope Eugene III. Having helped end the schism within the church, Bernard was now called upon to combat heresy. In June 1145, Bernard traveled in southern France and his preaching there helped strengthen support against heresy, he preached at the Council of Vézelay to recruit for the Second Crusade. After the Christian defeat at the Siege of Edessa, the pope commissioned Bernard to preach the Second Crusade; the last years of Bernard's life were saddened by the failure of the crusaders, the entire responsibility for, thrown upon him. Bernard died after 40 years as a monk, he was the first Cistercian placed on the calendar of saints, was canonized by Pope Alexander III on 18 January 1174. In 1830 Pope Pius VIII bestowed upon Bernard the title "Doctor of the Church".
Bernard's parents were Tescelin de Fontaine, lord of Fontaine-lès-Dijon, Alèthe de Montbard, both members of the highest nobility of Burgundy. Bernard was the third of seven children. At the age of nine years, he was sent to a school at Châtillon-sur-Seine run by the secular canons of Saint-Vorles. Bernard devoted himself for some time to poetry, his success in his studies won the admiration of his teachers. He wanted to excel in literature, he had a special devotion to the Virgin Mary, he would write several works about the Queen of Heaven. Bernard would expand upon Anselm of Canterbury's role in transmuting the sacramentally ritual Christianity of the Early Middle Ages into a new, more held faith, with the life of Christ as a model and a new emphasis on the Virgin Mary. In opposition to the rational approach to divine understanding that the scholastics adopted, Bernard would preach an immediate faith, in which the intercessor was the Virgin Mary, he is cited for saying that St. Mary Magdalene was the Apostle to the Apostles.
Bernard was only nineteen years of age. During his youth, he did not escape trying temptations and around this time he thought of retiring from the world and living a life of solitude and prayer. In 1098 Saint Robert of Molesme had founded Cîteaux Abbey, near Dijon, with the purpose of restoring the Rule of St Benedict in all its rigour. Returning to Molesme, he left the government of the new abbey to Saint Alberic of Cîteaux, who died in the year 1109. After the death of his mother, Bernard sought admission into the Cistercian order. At the age of 22, while Bernard was at prayer in a church, he felt the calling of God to enter the monastery of Cîteaux. In 1113 Saint Stephen Harding had just succeeded Saint Alberic as third Abbot of Cîteaux when Bernard and thirty other young noblemen of Burgundy sought admission into the monastery. Bernard's testimony was so irresistible that 30 of his friends and relatives followed him into the monastic life; the little community of reformed Benedictines at Cîteaux, which would have so profound an influence on Western monasticism, grew rapidly.
Three years Bernard was sent with a band of twelve monks to found a new house at Vallée d'Absinthe, in the Diocese of Langres. This Bernard named Claire Vallée, or Clairvaux, on 25 June 1115, the names of Bernard and Clairvaux would soon become inseparable. During the absence of the Bishop of Langres, Bernard was blessed as abbot by William of Champeaux, Bishop of Châlons-sur-Marne. From that moment a strong friendship sprang up between the abbot and the bishop, professor of theology at Notre Dame of Paris, the founder of the Abbey of St. Victor, Paris; the beginnings of Clairvaux Abbey were trying and painful. The regime was so austere that Bernard became ill, only the influence of his friend William of Champeaux and the authority of the general chapter could make him mitigate the austerities; the monastery, made rapid progress. Disciples put themselves under the direction of Bernard; the reputation of his holiness soon attracted 130 new monks, including his own father. His father and all his brothers entered Clairvaux to pursue religious life, leaving only Humbeline, his sister, in the secular world.
She, with the consent of her husband, soon took the veil in the Benedictine nunnery of Jully-les-No
Augustine of Hippo
Saint Augustine of Hippo was a Roman African, early Christian theologian and philosopher from Numidia whose writings influenced the development of Western Christianity and Western philosophy. He was the bishop of Hippo Regius in north Africa and is viewed as one of the most important Church Fathers in Western Christianity for his writings in the Patristic Period. Among his most important works are The City of De doctrina Christiana and Confessions. According to his contemporary Jerome, Augustine "established anew the ancient Faith". In his youth he was drawn to Manichaeism and to neoplatonism. After his baptism and conversion to Christianity in 386, Augustine developed his own approach to philosophy and theology, accommodating a variety of methods and perspectives. Believing that the grace of Christ was indispensable to human freedom, he helped formulate the doctrine of original sin and made seminal contributions to the development of just war theory; when the Western Roman Empire began to disintegrate, Augustine imagined the Church as a spiritual City of God, distinct from the material Earthly City.
His thoughts profoundly influenced the medieval worldview. The segment of the Church that adhered to the concept of the Trinity as defined by the Council of Nicaea and the Council of Constantinople identified with Augustine's On the Trinity. Augustine is recognized as a saint in the Catholic Church, the Eastern Christian Church, the Anglican Communion and as a preeminent Doctor of the Church, he is the patron of the Augustinians. His memorial is celebrated on 28 August, the day of his death. Augustine is the patron saint of brewers, theologians, the alleviation of sore eyes, a number of cities and dioceses. Many Protestants Calvinists and Lutherans, consider him to be one of the theological fathers of the Protestant Reformation due to his teachings on salvation and divine grace. Protestant Reformers and Martin Luther in particular, held Augustine in preeminence among early Church Fathers. Luther himself was, from 1505 to 1521, a member of the Order of the Augustinian Eremites. In the East, his teachings are more disputed, were notably attacked by John Romanides.
But other theologians and figures of the Eastern Orthodox Church have shown significant approbation of his writings, chiefly Georges Florovsky. The most controversial doctrine associated with him, the filioque, was rejected by the Orthodox Church. Other disputed teachings include his views on original sin, the doctrine of grace, predestination. Though considered to be mistaken on some points, he is still considered a saint, has had influence on some Eastern Church Fathers, most notably Saint Gregory Palamas. In the Orthodox Church his feast day is celebrated on 15 June. Historian Diarmaid MacCulloch has written: " impact on Western Christian thought can hardly be overstated. Augustine of Hippo known as Saint Augustine, Saint Austin, is known by various cognomens throughout the Christian world across its many denominations including Blessed Augustine, the Doctor of Grace Hippo Regius, where Augustine was the bishop, was in modern-day Annaba, Algeria. Augustine was born in the year 354 AD in the municipium of Thagaste in the Roman province of Numidia.
His mother, Monica or Monnica, was a devout Christian. Augustine considered the father like a stranger. Scholars agree that Augustine and his family were Berbers, an ethnic group indigenous to North Africa, but that they were Romanized, speaking only Latin at home as a matter of pride and dignity. In his writings, Augustine leaves some information as to the consciousness of his African heritage. For example, he refers to Apuleius as "the most notorious of us Africans," to Ponticianus as "a country man of ours, insofar as being African," and to Faustus of Mileve as "an African Gentleman". Augustine's family name, suggests that his father's ancestors were freedmen of the gens Aurelia given full Roman citizenship by the Edict of Caracalla in 212. Augustine's family had been Roman, for at least a century when he was born, it is assumed that his mother, was of Berber origin, on the basis of her name, but as his family were honestiores, an upper class of citizens known as honorable men, Augustine's first language is to have been Latin.
At the age of 11, Augustine was sent to school at Madaurus, a small Numidian city about 19 miles south of Thagaste. There he became familiar with Latin literature, as well as pagan practices, his first insight into the nature of sin occurred when he and a number of friends stole fruit they did not want from a neighborhood garden. He tells this story in The Confessions, he remembers that he did not steal the fruit because he was hungry, but because "it was not permitted." His nature, he says, was flawed.'It was foul, I loved it. I loved my own error—not that for which I erred, but the error itself." From this incident he concluded the human person is inclined to sin, in need of the grace of Christ. At the age of 17, through the generosity of his fellow citizen Romanianus, Augustine went to Carthage to continue his education in rhetoric, though it was above the financial means of his family. In spite of the good warnings of his mother, as a youth Augustine lived a hedonistic lif