Compelled by Love

The Life and Legacy of St. Bernard of Clairvaux

Compelled by Love

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In the year 1112, a bright young nobleman embarked on an adventure that pioneered new paths—politically, socially, and spiritually—throughout Western Europe.

His passion for the gospel and his charismatic personality were so attractive that he drew thirty other men—peers and elders—into the adventure with him.

Over the next thirty-five years, hundreds of others would join him on his mission. His advice was sought by kings and popes; he unleashed an international army with the goal of recapturing the Holy Land. He resolved the most complex of disputes between church and state. His sermons and letters on God’s love melted the coldest of hearts and endeared him to the most unlikely combination of people—young and old, rich and poor, noble and common. This was the legacy of Bernard of Clairvaux, a Cistercian monk who was both the busiest man of his century and an intensely personal, intimate lover of God.

Bernard was born in 1090 into a noble family in…

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