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Saint Alberic of Citeaux (died January 26, 1108), also known as Alberic of Aubrey, was a Christian saint and abbot, one of the founders of the Cistercian Order.

Alberic was a hermit in the forest of Collan in Francemarker who, along with five other hermits, invited Saint Robert of Molesme to begin a new monastery with them that would operate under the Rule of St. Benedict. Robert led these hermits to the forest of Molesmesmarker and began a religious settlement there in 1075. In Molesmes, Robert served as the abbot, and Alberic was the prior. However, as the settlement's fame grew, gifts came in, and this new wealth attracted new monks who were eager to change the Rule and to be lax. The Molesmes community was divided, and the monks opposed Robert and Alberic. Robert twice left the monastery to live as a hermit, and twice the pope ordered him back to his community. In one absence of St. Robert, the brothers imprisoned Alberic so that they might have their way.

In 1093, Robert left again, and Alberic and Stephen Harding left with him. The Bishop of Langres commanded Alberic back to Molesmes. He returned, but he made no headway with the corrupt brothers. In 1098, twenty-one more monks left Molesmes to join Robert, Alberic, and Stephen Harding, and Robert now obtained permission to found a new monastery. Robert was given an inaccessible piece of land and founded the new monastery at Citeauxmarker.

Initially, Robert was the abbot of Citeauxmarker, with Alberic the prior. However, the monks of Molesmes petitioned Robert to return to them and vowed obedience to the Rule of Benedict. In 1100, Robert left Citeaux, and Alberic became the new abbot. Under Alberic, the Rule of Benedict was made even more austere. He introduced the use of a white cowl to the monks, and, in iconographic art, his emblem is the white cowl.

His feast day in the Roman Catholic Church is January 26.

References

  • Attwater, Donald and Catherine Rachel John. The Penguin Dictionary of Saints. 3rd edition. New York: Penguin Books, 1993. ISBN 0-140-51312-4.


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