Ailred of Rievaulx

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Saint Ailred of Rievaulx<tr><td colspan="2" style="text-align: center;background-color:gold;">Abbot</td></tr>
Born 1110 in Hexham, Northumberland
Died 12 January 1167 in Rievaulx, North Riding of Yorkshire<tr><td>Venerated in</td>

<td>Roman Catholic Church; Anglican Communion</td></tr><tr><td>Canonized</td> <td>1476 by the Cistercians (promulgated)</td></tr><tr><td>Major shrine</td> <td>Rievaulx Abbey, North Riding of Yorkshire (destroyed)</td></tr>

Feast 12 January<tr><td>Attributes</td>

<td>Abbot holding a book</td></tr><tr><td>Patronage</td> <td>bladder stone sufferers</td></tr>

Image:Gloriole.svg Saints Portal

Aelred or Ailred of Rievaulx, Abbot of Rievaulx (b. Hexham 1110; d. Rievaulx 12 January 1167), is a Christian saint and historian.

Aelred was an Anglo-Saxon, born in Hexham, Northumbria, in 1110. His father, a married priest, sent him to spend several years at the court of King David I of Scotland. Aelred rose to be Master of the Household before leaving the court to enter a Cistercian monastery at Rievaulx Abbey, in Yorkshire, around the year 1134.

Aelred became Abbot of Rievaulx in 1147 and spent the remainder of his life in the monastery. He wrote several influential books on spirituality, among them The Mirror of Charity (perhaps at the request of Bernard, Abbot of Clairvaux) and Spiritual Friendship. He also wrote seven works of history, addressing two of them to Henry II of England, advising him how to be a good king and declaring him to be the true descendent of Anglo-Saxon kings. Until the twentieth century Aelred was generally known as a historian rather than a spiritual writer; for many centuries his most famous work was his Life of Saint Edward, King and Confessor."

Aelred died on January 12, 1167, at Rievaulx. He is listed for January 12 in Lesser Feasts and Fasts, the Episcopal Church's register of Christians worthy of particular veneration.

Aelred's works and his Life by Walter Daniel, another twelfth-century monk of Rievaulx, give no indication of Aelred's sexual orientation or experience. Some scholars in the mid-twentieth century, however, have erroneousy inferred from his spiritual works' discussion of friendship and love that he was gay. In fact his works encourage virginity among the unmarried and chastity (not necessarily abstinence) in marriage and widowhood and warn against any sexual activity outside of marriage; in all his works he treats same-sex and opposite-sex attraction as equally likely and equally dangerous to anyone sworn to celibacy. At the same time, though, he could be compassionate about human failings, and criticised the absence of pastoral care for the Nun of Watton and her case of pregnancy while within a Gilbertine convent.

Aelred is the patron saint of Integrity, an organization in the Episcopal Church in the United States of America composed of gays and lesbians and their friends. He is also patron saint of the Order of St. Aelred, a gay-friendly organization in the Philippines. He is also patron saint of The National Anglican Catholic Church, a gay-friendly church serving New England and the northeast United States.

There is a high school named after St. Aelred in Newton-le-Willows, Lancashire (UK).

Most of Aelred's works have appeared in translation from Cistercian Publications, including Mirror of Charity, Spiritual Friendship, Rule of Life for a Recluse, Jesus as a Boy of Twelve, Pastoral Prayer, On the Soul, Genealogy of the Kings of the English, Battle of the Standard, Lament for the Death of King David of Scotland, The Life of Saint Edward, King and Confessor, and twenty sermons. The other historical works (Life of Saint Ninian, On the Saints of Hexham, and A Certain Wonderful Miracle) will appear in mid-2006.

[edit] References

  • Aelred of Rievaulx. "Opera." Corpus Christianorum Continuatio Mediaevalis 2, 2A, 2B. Turnhout, Belgium: Brepols Publishers, 1971, 1983, 2001.
  • Boquet, Damien. L'ordre de l'affect au Moyen Âge: Autour de l'anthropologie affective d'Aelred de Rievaulx. Caen: CRAHM, 2005.
  • Dutton, Marsha L. "Friendship and the Love of God: Augustine's Teaching in the Confessions and Aelred of Rievaulx's Response in Spiritual Friendship." (American Benedictine Review 56 (2005): 3–40).
  • ibid., 'A Historian's Historian: The Place of Bede in Aelred's Contributions to the New History of his Age'. (Truth as Gift: Studies in Cistercian History in Honor of John R. Sommerfeldt). Ed. Marsha L. Dutton, Daniel M. La Corte, and Paul Lockey, Cistercian Studies Series 204. Kalamazoo: Cistercian, 2004. 407-48.
  • Freeman, Elizabeth. "Aelred of Rievaulx’s De Bello Standardii: Cistercian Historiography and the Creation of Community Memories. Cîteaux 49 (1998): 5–28.
  • ibid. "The Many Functions of Cistercian Histories Using Aelred of Rievaulx’s Relatio de Standardo as a Case Study." The Medieval Chronicle: Proceedings of the 1st International Conference on the Medieval Chronicle. Ed. Erik Kooper. Amsterdam; Atlanta: Rodopi, 1999. 124–32.
  • ibid. Narratives of a New Order: Cistercian Historical Writing in England, 1150–1220. Turnhout: Brepols, 2002.
  • ibid. "Nuns in the Public Sphere: Aelred of Rievaulx's De Sanctimoniali de Wattun and the Gendering of Authority." Comitatus 17 (1996): 55–80.
  • La Corte, Daniel M. "Abbot as Magister and Pater in the Thought of Bernard of Clairvaux and Aelred of Rievaulx." Truth as Gift: Studies in Cistercian History in Honor of John R. Sommerfeldt. Ed. Marsha L. Dutton, Daniel M. La Corte, and Paul Lockey. Cistercian Studies Series 204. Kalamazoo: Cistercian Publications, 2004. 389-406.
  • Mayeski, Marie Anne. "Secundam naturam: The Inheritance of Virtue in Ælred’s Genealogy of the English Kings." Cistercian Studies Quarterly 37 (2002) 221–28.
  • Nouzille, Philippe. Expérience de Dieu et Théologie Monastique au XIIe Siècle: Étude sur les sermons d'Aelred de Rievaulx. Paris: Les Éditions du Cerf, 1999.
  • Raciti, Gaetano. "The Preferential Option for the Weak in the Ælredian Community Model." CSQ 32 (1997): 3–23.
  • Ransford, Rosalind. "A Kind of Noah's Ark: Aelred of Rievaulx and National Identity." Religion and National Identity. Ed. Stuart Mews. Studies in Church History 18 (1982): 137–46.
  • Sommerfeldt, John R. Aelred of Rievaulx On Love and Order in the World and the Church. Mahwah, NJ: Newman Press, 2006.
  • ibid. Pursuing Perfect Happiness. Mahwah, NJ: Newman Press, 2005.
  • Squire, Aelred. "Aelred and King David." Collectanea Cisterciensia 22 (1960) 356–77.
  • ibid. "Aelred and the Northern Saints." Collectanea Cisterciensia 23 (1961) 58–69.
  • ibid. Aelred of Rievaulx: A Study. Cistercian Studies series 50. 1960; Kalamazoo: Cistercian Publications, 1981.
  • ibid. "Historical Factors in the Formation of Aelred of Rievaulx." Collectanea Cisterciensia 22 (1960): 262–82.
  • Yohe, Katherine. "Aelred’s Recrafting of the Life of Edward the Confessor." CSQ 38 (2003): 177–89.

Ailred of Rievaulx

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