Cistercians are men and women who follow Saint Benedict's Rule for Monks and the Constitutions of Cîteaux. Settling in 1098 in a remote burgundian marsh (in Latin cisterna), the first Cistercians determined to live simply and to balance in their lives common prayer, personal reflection, and manual labor. For guidance they read the Bible, the writings of the Church Fathers, and the documents of centuries of christian monasticism. The literature they created resonates their love of God and their reasoned analysis of the intensely personal experience of growth through self-knowledge to self-acceptance to the perception of God.

Since 1968 Cistercian Publications has been publishing books in monastic history and spirituality, reaching backward into the Desert Fathers and forward into the experiences of twentieth- and twenty-first century laypeople, monks and nuns, and priests. Our initial goal was to provide English translations of treatises and sermons by early Cistercian writers and other Fathers and Mothers of the church, to benefit those who cannot easily read these work in the original languages. Over the years we have expanded into contemporary scholarly and spiritual writing.

Our works appear in three series: Cistercian Fathers (translations of works by Cistercian authors, both men and women), Cistercian Studies (scholarly works and translations of non-Cistercian authors such as the Venerable Bede, Æthelwold, and Gregory), and Monastic Wisdom (works encouraging spiritual exploration and growth).