Saint Bernard of Clairvaux (1090 – 1153) was a French abbot and theologian who was the main voice of conservatism during the intellectual revival of Western Europe called the Renaissance of the 12th century. Bernard was the primary builder of the reforming Cistercian monastic order.
Bernard at his best displays a nobility of nature, a wise charity and tenderness in his dealings with others, and a genuine humility, that make him one of the most complete exponents of the Christian life. His broadly Christian character is witnessed to by the enduring quality of his influence. The author of the Imitation of Christ drew inspiration from his writings; the reformers saw him as a medieval champion of their favourite doctrine of the supremacy of the divine grace. His works have been reprinted in countless editions.