In his days (Henry I’s reign) began the Cistercian
Order, which is now both thought and said to be the high road of
supreme progress toward Heaven.
so famous for continuing monastic vocations that it might well be
supposed to have some link with Heaven itself
But to sum
up all that has been said or can be said about the Cistercians,
they are today an example for all monks, a mirror for the zealous,
and a gadfly for the easy-going (1)
William even expressed feelings of solidarity
with the White Monks, for one of their founding figures, Stephen
Harding, was an Englishman. England was therefore a part of
this success story, and could share a sense of pride at the Cistercian
achievement. This link with Harding must have made the White Monks
more appealing and acceptable to those living in England.
Knowledge of and admiration for the Cistercian
life in the 1120s drew Englishmen to France, to join the monks at
Cîteaux and Clairvaux. Some responded to a personal invitation
from the charismatic abbot, Bernard
of Clairvaux, and left for the ‘promised Jerusalem’ . Several
of these men later played a leading role in the development of the
Order in Britain.