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The Cistercians in Medieval Art

James France

This fully illustrated work tells the remarkable story of the Cistercian Order through its art: illuminated manuscripts, paintings, stained glass, carvings and sculpture, gathered from throughout Europe, Britain, and Scandinavia. It reveals how the Cistercians shaped the religious, cultural and economic unity of medieval Europe and shows the continuity of cistercian practice across the centuries.

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Pathway of Peace

Cistercian Wisdom According to Saint Bernard

Charles Dumont, OCSO

'A new book on Saint Bernard. And we mean new, not simply in the sense that it is another book, but that it is a book capable of communicating the bernardine good news in all its freshness, in the newness that inspired the abbot of Clairvaux in the twelfth century. This work by Father Charles Dumont will be helpful to all of us who want to read Saint Bernard's works fruitfully. Still more, reading this work will nourish and motivate a generous self–giving and will enlighten and guide the offering of our life. The author knows how to put the permanent values presented by St Bernard alongside our present–day experiences. He knows how to distinguish what is obsolete from what is enduring and he has re-translated the abbot of Clairvaux into a contemporary idiom to help us understand it. Charles Dumont is a Cistercian monk of Notre-Dame de Scourmont Abbey in southwestern Belgium. Already well known for his work on the spirituality of another of the Cistercian Fathers, Aelred of Rievaulx, he shares in this volume a lifetime of reflection on the doctrine of Saint Bernard of Clairvaux.'    —from the Preface

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Medieval Images of Saint Bernard of Clairvaux

James France

From his own day—he died in 1153—throughout the Middle Ages Bernard has been portrayed in paintings, manuscript illuminations, wooden and stone carvings, and stained glass windows. Both Bernard's reputation and the characteristic piety of the artists are revealed in the depictions. A CD image-index of medieval portrayals accompanies the book of this influential saint. After a career in business, James France returned to a love of the Cistercian tradition enkindled at Oxford University. His previous research has been published in The Cistercians in Scandinavia, and Cistercians in Medieval Art. This latest international research was done as part of his doctoral research at the University of Roskilde.

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Outreach and Renewal

A First-Millennium Legacy for the Third-Millennium Church

James McSherry

This work represents a novel treatment of the mission of the Church fathers, the early Christian ascetics, and their disciples during the turbulent centuries that followed the passing of the apostles. Approaching a normally arcane subject largely through the interplay of character and incident, Outreach and Renewal provides a stirring account of the various ways in which spiritual leaders of the time promoted the Gospel message. Readers experience these leaders as they illuminate, strengthen, restore, or defend the faith, through their words and actions, of fellow Christians. Facilitating fresh insights and thought-provoking conclusions, the theme proceeds through the interaction of a varied cast of vital individuals engaged in lively and sometimes acerbic discourse, which is always aimed at the glory of God. With the careful attention the author gives to the early Irish church and its singular representatives, this work is a unique and valuable contribution to the study of the patristic era. James McSherry is a retired teacher with a background in literary studies. His interests include late classical writings, the early medieval period, and Church history. The realization that these elements intersected so dramatically in the lives and times of the fathers led him to undertake the present study. In researching the triumphs and trials of the Church in the first millennium, the writer was gratified and humbled to discover the extent and nature of Ireland’s role.

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In the Valley of Wormwood

Cistercian Blessed and Saints of the Golden Age

Thomas Merton; Edited with an Introduction by Patrick Hart; Foreword by Brian Patrick McGuire

Shortly after entering the monastic life in December 1941, a relatively unknown Trappist monk called Frater Louis-who would later be known to the world by his given name, Thomas Merton-began to pen biographical sketches of early Cistercian blessed and saints. These were initially collected, printed, and bound inexpensively, with no mention of the author, by the Abbey of Gethsemani. They are now published here for a wide audience for the first time.This work of the very young Merton perhaps takes on added significance when one considers the writing that lay just ahead of him at the time. In 1948, his autobiography, The Seven Storey Mountain, was published and soon became an unexpected national bestseller. This long-awaited publication of In the Valley of Wormwood offers a window into Merton's thinking and his spiritual life just a few years before his phenomenal autobiography would see the light of day.Thomas Merton (1915–1968) was a monk of the Abbey of Gethsemani, Kentucky. He was a renowned writer, theologian, poet, and social activist.Patrick Hart, OCSO, a native of Green Bay, Wisconsin, entered the Abbey of Gethsemani in 1951 and served as secretary to Thomas Merton during the last year of his life. He has edited many books by and about Thomas Merton during the thirty-eight years since the latter's death on December 10, 1968. He has served on the board of directors for Cistercian Publications for the past thirty years.

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"The Lives of Monastic Reformers, 2"

"Abbot Vitalis of Savigny, Abbot Godfrey of Savigny, Peter of Avranches, and Blessed Hamo"

Introduced, translated, and edited by Hugh Feiss, OSB, Maureen M. O'Brien, and Ronald Pepin

This volume offers translations of the twelfth-century Latin vitae of four monks of the Monastery of Savigny: Abbot Vitalis, Abbot Godfrey, Peter of Avranches, and Blessed Hamo. Founded in 1113 by Vitalis of Mortain, an influential hermit-preacher, Savigny expanded to a congregation of thirty monasteries under his successor Godfrey (1122-1138). In 1147, the entire congregation joined the Cistercian Order. Around 1172, two monks of Savigny, Peter of Avranches and Hamo, friends but very different personalities, died. Their stories were told in two further vitae.The vitae of these four men exemplify the variety of people and movements found in the monastic ferment of the twelfth century.Fr. Hugh Feiss, OSB, is a member of the Monastery of the Ascension in Jerome, Idaho; is a specialist in twelfth-century religion; and has translated several books for Cistercian Publications.Dr. Maureen M. O'Brien, an assistant professor of history at St. Cloud State University, is a specialist in the history of La Chaise-Dieu, and has edited several books for Cistercian Publications.Ronald E. Pepin is professor emeritus at Capital Community College in Hartford, Connecticut. His recent translations include The Vatican Mythographers (Fordham University Press, 2008) and Anselm & Becket (PIMS, 2009).

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Bede the Venerable: Excerpts from the Works of Saint Augustine and the Letters of the Blessed Apostle Paul

Bede the Venerable; Translated by David Hurst, OSB

Best known for his historical and exegetical works Bede is here seen as the silent compiler. Bede makes use of and adds to the excerpts from Augustine's writings compiled by Eugippius, a neopolitan who in the seventh century collected meaningful passages from Augustine's commentary on the Letters of Paul for his monks. Bede then arranged these excerpts in the order of Paul's letters as we have them today. Bede's compilation, which was vastly important in the evolution of later theology, is available now for the first time in English.

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The Great Beginning of Citeaux

A Narrative of the Beginning of the Cistercian Order

Translated by Benedicta Ward, SLG, and Paul Savage; Edited by Rozanne Elder

In the closing decades of the twelfth century, the Cistercian Order had become an important ecclesiastical and economic power in Europe. Yet it had lost its influential spokesman, Bernard of Clairvaux, and as the century drew to a close, religious sensibilities were changing. The new mendicant orders, the Franciscans and the Dominicans, and the impulses they embodied were to shift the center of gravity in Christian religious life for centuries to come.It was in this transitional period that Conrad of Eberbach gradually—between the 1180s and 1215—compiled the Exordium magnum cisterciense: The Great Beginning of Cîteaux. It is a book of history and lore, often with miraculous stories, meant to continue a great spiritual tradition, and it is also a book meant to justify and repair the Order. The Exordium magnum was in part an effort to provide a historical and formative context for those who were to be Cistercians in the thirteenth century.Conrad's combination of a historical sensibility and the edifying exempla makes the Exordium magnum a remarkably innovative book. Its unique combination of genres—narratio and exempla—is conceivable only within the intellectual world of the twelfth or early thirteenth centuries, before exempla collections came to be complied solely for edification or use in sermons. The Great Beginning of Cîteaux is a revealing book and an excellent place to begin more detailed study of the Cistercian Order between 1174 and the middle of the thirteenth century.

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Anselm Of Havelberg

Anticimenon: On the Unity of the Faith and the Controversies with the Greeks

Translated by Ambrose Criste, OPraem, and Carol Neel

The Anticimenon of Anselm of Havelberg is both the outstanding medieval work on ecumenical dialogue with the Orthodox and one of the period’s most important explorations of the theology of history. This text’s author was a bishop on Christianity’s eastern frontier and companion to Norbert of Xanten, saint-founder of the Order of Prémontré. Anselm grounded both his zeal for the union of the churches and his vision of the Holy Spirit’s role in secular events in the renewal and purification advocated by the twelfth-century reformation. The present volume, the first English translation of Anselm’s Anticimenon, sets his work in the context of the early Premonstratensian (Norbertine) thought integral to the reform movement of his time. It renders Anselm’s powerful voice audible to a modern English-speaking readership yearning, with him, for unity in the Church and understanding of the Holy Spirit’s agency in human experience. Ambrose Criste, OPraem, received his licentiate from the Gregorian University in Rome and is a member of St. Michael’s Abbey in Orange County, California. Carol Neel is professor of history at Colorado College and has published several translations and commentaries on medieval spiritual texts.

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Dom Anselme Le Bail

"Abbot of Scourmont 1913-1956: A monk, an abbot, a community"

Dieudonné Dufrasne, OSB; Elizabeth Connor, OCSO, Translator

Those who knew him, above all monks, will find Dom Anselme Le Bail again in these pages with warm gratitude. Those who have not known him will encounter his vital and original character. Both of these will be surprised and come to admire a man and a monk who has integrated a healthy humanism into a concrete ideal of his religious vocation. Fr. Dieudonne Dufrasne, a Benedictine monk of Saint Andre de Clerlande, has read, listened to, and allowed the young man, Anselme Le Bail, the monk, and finally the Cistercian Abbot of Scourmont, to speak for himself in these pages. He has the ability to allow us, in turn, to hear and understand the joys and difficulties of a life totally dedicated to God and to his brothers.

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Words For The Journey

A Monastic Vocabulary

Edith Scholl, OCSO

In matters of religion and spirituality the simplest phrases can be the most misleading. Or, if not misleading, misunderstood. There is no doubt that this is true of the Cistercian tradition. As Sister Edith Scholl writes in the introduction to this volume: "When I started reading and studying the writings of the twelfth- and thirteenth-century Cistercians years ago, I was struck by their rich vocabulary of Latin words—words rich with resonances from Scripture, the liturgy, and patristic and earlier monastic authors, words for which no exact equivalents exist in English. It seemed to me that these words could be a key to a deeper understanding of their message. . . . This study of some of the most important of them could serve as a companion to the translations being published in the Cistercian Fathers Series, enabling nonspecialists to read those translations with greater understanding and appreciation. In fact, it might prove a fruitful source for approaching the whole monastic ethos." "Sister Edith Scholl has come to our rescue. . . . She has provided us with a book, and a very sensible book it is. The words she offers us are truly words for the journey, though like any journey, they are not without risk. Offering our human will to God is an extraordinarily risky business, but we may rest assured that our prayers will be answered."      –From the Foreword by David N. Bell Sister Edith Scholl studied piano and composition at the University of Michigan, where she earned a bachelor of music degree. She entered Mount Saint Mary's Abbey in 1956. She is currently the prioress, teaches liturgy and Christian spirituality, and has written music for her community's liturgy. She has contributed articles to Hidden Springs and Peaceweavers, and an anthology of early Cistercian texts, In the School of Love (all published by Cistercian Publications).

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"The Lives of Monastic Reformers, 1"

Robert of La Chaise-Dieu and Stephen of Obazine

Introduced and Translated by Hugh Feiss, OSB; Maureen M. O'Brien; and Ronald Pepin

The period between 1025 and 1150 was a time of creativity and new beginnings in monastic life. Robert of La Chaise-Dieu and Stephen of Obazine established two very successful monastic families in the neighboring regions of the Auvergne and Limousin respectively. La Chaise-Dieu became the head of a vast Benedictine congregation; Obazine had a number of dependencies. With them it joined the Cistercian Order in 1147. The saintly lives of these two founders, recounted by near contemporaries and here translated into English for the first time, unfolded against a backdrop of political unrest and lawlessness. While devoting themselves to monastic life according to the Rule of St. Benedict, these communities served the poor and uprooted. Both reformer monks are models and inspiration for our era, which too calls for creativity and new beginnings. Fr. Hugh Feiss, OSB, (Monastery of the Ascension, Jerome, ID), a specialist in twelfth-century religion, has translated several books for Cistercian publications. Dr. Maureen M. O’Brien, an assistant professor of history at St. Cloud State University, is a specialist in the history of La Chaise-Dieu and has edited several books for Cistercian Publications. Ronald E. Pepin received his PhD from Fordham University. His recent translations include The Vatican Mythographers (Fordham University Press, 2008) and Anselm & Becket (PIMS, 2009).

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Verses on Death

Helinand of Froidmont; Translated by Jenny Lind Porter

Helinand (c.1162—1237) was born to a noble flemish family which had fled to France after the assasination of Charles the Bold. In the richly creative, rough and tumble world of the twelfth century, he proved himself an accomplish poet. In Verses on Death Helinand combines his love of poetry and his love of monastic tradition; from his cloister, he invites death to visit those dearest to him, to turn their attentions to the joys of eternity. Both in Old French and in Jenny Lind Porter's translation, the verses provide lively, colloquial and arresting reflections on the transitory vanity of worldly pleasures.

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Homilies

Ogier of Locedio; Translated and Annotated by D. Martin Jenni

Written sometime between 1205-1214 for monks at the abbey of Locedio in the diocese of Vercelli in northern Italy, these homilies were re-discovered in the seventeenth century and promptly attributed to another, far more famous Cistercian, Bernard of Clairvaux. In both style and doctrine, 'In Praise of God’s Holy Mother’ and 'On Our Lord’s Word to His Disciples at the Last Supper’ reflect a devotion somewhat dissimilar to and slightly later than Saint Bernard’s. D. Martin Jenni, Professor Emeritus of the University of Iowa School of Music, has distinguished himself as a composer, a teacher, and a scholar. Deeply familiar with the Latin chant of the Middle Ages, he has also studied the theology and literature of the period. Here he brings into modern English the long overlooked works of an almost forgotten medieval Cistercian spiritual writer.

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The Holy Workshop Of Virtue

The Life of John the Little by Zacharias of Sakha

Edited by Tim Vivian, Rowan Greer, and Maged S. A. Mikhail

Saint John the Little was a monk and hegumen of Scetis (Wadi Natrun) during the first great period of early Egyptian monasticism. The Apophthegmata preserve some fifty sayings by or about him (see CS 59, 85–96). In addition, Zacharias, eighth-century Bishop of Sakha, wrote his Life, more than seventy percent of which is composed of material not found in the Apophthegmata. John bears witness to the formative period of early Egyptian monasticism. His Life, with its emphasis on obedience and compassion, offers a lively witness to the earliest monastic traditions and to their transmission and continuing importance in the Coptic Church. This book contains an introduction to the textual history of the Life of Saint John the Little (339–409) along with fresh English translations of the Bohairic and the Syriac Lifes of John the Little plus the definitive Bohairc Life in the Coptic text. It will be of interest particularly to academics, monastics, and others interested in monasticism, early Christian monasticism, early Church History, the Coptic Church, or monastic spirituality. Tim Vivian is associate professor of religious studies at California State University, Bakersfield. He is the author of numerous books and articles on early Christian monasticism, including The Life of Antony (with Apostolos N. Athanassakis), CS202, and Becoming Fire: Through the Year with the Desert Fathers and Mothers, CS225, both published by Cistercian Publications. Rowan Greer is the Walter Gray Professor Emeritus of Anglican Studies at Yale Divinity School. His scholarly work has been primarily in patristics. Retired since 1997, he lives in New Haven, Connecticut. Maged S. A. Mikhail is assistant professor of history at California State University, Fullerton. His publications and research focus on the history of Egypt during the early Islamic period.

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