St. Bernard was born in 1090 and joined the Cistercians at age 22. His passion and enthusiasm inspired many of his friends and family members to join him at the abbey. He was sent, with 12 other monks, to establish the Clairvaux abbey in Champagne, where he remained the abbot until he died.

Bernard was known for his humility and his devotion to the contemplative life. He widely promoted the Memorare prayer and love for Mary. Popes and political leaders often sought his advice.

St. Bernard died in 1153, and was canonized in 1174. He is a Doctor of the Church.