The Cistercian Order - Rules

The Cistercian Order - Rules

The Cistercian Order - Rules

The Cistercian Order was founded in 1098 by St. Robert, abbot of Molesme, in Cîteaux [Cistercium], north eastern France. They followed a rigorous set of rules for communal living based on the more 'moderate' rules of Saint Benedict of Nursia. The stricter nature of Cistercian life had come about because they felt St Benedict's rules had become open for abuse over the years since his death in 593 AD. The black habit of the Benedictines was changed to unbleached white and the Cistercians became known as White Monks. St. Bernard of Clairvaux (10902-1153) is often regarded as their “second founder," and his life and writings became the guiding influence of the order. 

The rules required followers to... 

• Abandon personal wealth 

• Leave behind all family 

Live and pray with their brethren 

• Wear the same simple white clothes 

• Eat a largely vegetarian diet in a communal dining room 

• Sleep in dormitories 

• Obey the abbot without question 

• Every hour of the day had to be occupied as 'idleness is the enemy of the soul 

Help save a millennium of history?