In Cîteaux, the Cistercian order had created the most advanced style of illuminated manuscripts, detailed in this pin. These manuscripts were highly revered until Bernard of Clairvaux had many of them destroyed due to his hatred of imagery. All manuscripts from them on out lacked paintings and decoration. The manuscripts were incredibly beautiful though.

Illuminated manuscript - Wikipedia In the strictest definition of illuminated manuscript, only manuscripts with gold or silver, like this miniature of Christ in Majesty from the Aberdeen Bestiary (folio

As part of the monastic life, Cistercians have a reputation for being very silent. They only speak for several reasons, including communication in community, spiritual exchange with others, and during special occasions. Their reason for ongoing silence is to give more time for continual prayer.

As part of the monastic life, Cistercians have a reputation for being very silent. They only speak for several reasons, including communication in community, spiritual exchange with others, and during special occasions. Their reason for ongoing silence is to give more time for continual prayer.

They had advanced knowledge of metallurgy and this information was spread by the order. They were the leading iron producer for several centuries and eventually created a surplus. All of the work was done within the monasteries. The metal work also led to their success with architecture and agriculture.

A silver-gilt and copper crozier, the staff of office shaped like a shepherd's crook and a bejewelled ring that was discovered at Furness Abbey, Cumbria

The Cistercian abbeys and their followings put a heavy emphasis on manual labor, especially fieldwork. They were educated agriculturists, and could breed horse and cattle. They sold produce and meat and started a system that helped boost the commercial economy in Western Europe.

Cistercians at work in a detail from the Life of St. Bernard of Clairvaux, illustrated by Jörg Breu the Elder

They were also great contributors to the Industrial Revolution. Their monasteries had factories, where they developed water power that fueled their production for wheat, cloth, tanning materials, and flour. They later used this hydraulic engineering to create power and a system for central heating.

Enjoy self-sufficiency! Because of our isolation we do everything for ourselves. So the Lord has blessed us with minds for innovation. We are returning to the simple, solitary lives that St. Benedict lai out for us.

Cistercian monasteries produce many goods, including cheese, bread, and beer. The beer is brewed for both the monks and any guests (or the public). The beer is made of sugars and leaving yeast and improves with age. Many critics consider it to be the finest beer in the world.

monasterio products Cistercian monks working on chocolate (Monasterio de Nuestra Señora de Piedra

Many Cistercian abbeys made donations to the needy. Fountains, a well known Cistercian abbey founded by Abbot Richard, provided food to a very hungry pilgrim in need, despite not having very much themselves. Many Cistercian monasteries were incredibly nice to their guests and made sure to provide for them. Hospitality was common.

Many Cistercian abbeys made donations to the needy. Fountains, a well known Cistercian abbey founded by Abbot Richard, provided food to a very hungry pilgrim in need, despite not having very much themselves. Many Cistercian monasteries were incredibly nice to their guests and made sure to provide for them. Hospitality was common.

One attractive aspect of the Cistercian order was the architecture. It is considered to be the most beautiful architecture in the medieval time. The abbey pictured if the Abbey church of Santa Maria Arabona, Italy. Cistercian architecture focused not so much on ornaments and decoration, but simple and smooth stone that would not be distracting.

Focus completely on God without the distractions of superfluous decorations. Our churches are simple and pure as it pleases Him.

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