St. Aelred of Rievaulx: Biography and Writings
Saint Aelred (also rendered 'Ailred') was the son of a Saxon priest of Hexham, England, and was born in 1109 AD. Though St. Aelred spent several years at the court of King David of Scotland, son of St. Margaret, he eventually entered the Cistercian monastery at Rievaulx around 1133 and ultimately became abbott of the monastery in 1147. His extensive spiritual writings show such similarity to those of fellow Cistercian St. Bernard of Clairvaux that Saint Aelred is often referred to as the "Bernard of the North." His devotion was marked by a strong attachment to the suffering humanity of Christ. His "De Spiritali Amicitia" is the fullest medieval discussion of friendship. St. Aelred, who is well known for his biography of King St. Edward the Confessor, died in 1167.