Monastic order founded on the Benedictine rule 1098 at Cîteaux, E Fr., by Robert de Molesme (ca. 10291111) to counteract the laxity that had overtaken the Cluniac* monks. Also called White Monks because of the color of their habit. Observed extreme simplicity of life, even poverty. Bernard* of Clairvaux entered the order 1112; under his influence and prestige it enjoyed remarkable development; mems. sometimes called Bernardines. The order spread quickly through W Eur. and to Eng. and Wales. It played an important part in Eng. sheep farming and in agricultural development, including horse and cattle breeding, in N and E Eur. But wealth and internal strife combined to result in decline. The most important reform movement launched in the 17th c. to remove these weaknesses was that of the Trappists.*
Edited by: Erwin L. Lueker, Luther Poellot, Paul Jackson
©Concordia Publishing House, 2000, All rights Reserved. Reproduced with Permission
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The Lutheran Church--Missouri Synod
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