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Saint of the Day: St. Aelred of Rievaulx

Touched by the Divine Friend


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Abbot (ca. 1110-1167)

His life

+ Aelred was born at Hexham in Northumbria around the year 1110, and received an education in letters and the humanism of the period. Sent to the court of the Scottish king, Saint David, Aelred won the confidence and friendship of the king, and ultimately became High Steward of the Royal Household.

+ After a trip to England, he returned to Scotland and entered the Cistercian Monastery at Rievaulx. He never returned to the Scottish Court.

+ In 1143, after having occupied various positions of trust in his monastery, he was named Abbot of Revesby. Four years later, he returned to Rievaulx to serve as abbot.

+ Known throughout the country for his holiness and prudence, Saint Aelred died in the year 1167.

+ In his most celebrated work, On Spiritual Friendship, Saint Aelred reflected that human friendships and love are a reflection of the divine and pure love we experience with God, the true Friend.

For prayer and reflection

Friendship is that virtue by which spirits are bound by ties of love and sweetness and out of many are made one.”—Saint Aelred of Rievaulx


God our Father,

You gave the blessed abbot Aelred

the grace of being all things to all people.

May we, after his example,

so spend ourselves in the service of our brothers and sisters

as to preserve the unity of the spirit

in the bond of peace.

We ask this through our Lord, Jesus Christ, your Son,

who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,

one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

(from the Proper of Saints of the Cistercian Calendar)

Saint profiles prepared by Brother Silas Henderson, S.D.S.

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