A-Z: General definitions: Cistercian


The order of White Monks (from their habits of undyed sheep's wool) was founded at Citeaux in 1098 with the aim of returning to the Benedictine ideal. St. Benedict is known for establishing the first monastic order in Monte Cassino, Italy in 530 CE. He wrote The Rule of Benedict which gave instructions for following a monastic lifestyle. Following the admission of St Bernard of Clairvaux, the order spread rapidly, choosing remote locations, such as Rievaulx (c. 1131) in Northern England.


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