Vatican City, Dec 2, 2009 / 09:42 am
In today's general audience, Pope Benedict XVI delved into the life and teachings of William of St. Thierry, a Cistercian monk who wrote extensively about the nature of love.
Today's audience continues the Pope's tradition of tracing the history of the Church beginning with the Apostles and continuing with the Doctors of the Church and influential saints throughout the ages.
William of St. Thierry was a friend of Bernard of Clairvaux and helped reform monasticism in the 12th century. He also wrote prolifically on monastic theology and on love, which, he claims, “is the principal force that moves the human soul.”
William was a member of a noble family and was well-educated. He became a Benedictine and entered the Monastery of Saint-Nicaise in Reims. He then went onto become abbot at the Monastery of Saint-Thierry, where he was unable to institute the reforms he desired. He abandoned the Benedictines and became a Cistercian at the Abbey of Signy, where he continued to write.