The Cistercians are a monastic religious order founded by Saint Robert of Molesme (1028-1111) at Cîteaux near Dijon in France in 1098 together with a group of monks from the abbey of Molesme who were critical of the moral laxity of the Benedictines and sought to return to the strict application of St. Benedict’s Rule [see our entry on Benedictines]. Most Benedictine convents looked more like secular courts, and despite continued efforts to worship God, most monks had become very secular in their lifestyle.
Saints Albéric (ca. 1050-1108) and Stephen Harding (by origin English, 1059-1134) who succeeded Robert as abbots, gave the Cistercian order its …
Citation: Classen, Albrecht. "Cistercians". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 13 January 2004 [https://www.litencyc.com/php/stopics.php?rec=true&UID=1328, accessed 22 March 2023.]