Saint Ailred (or Aelred) of Rievaulx (1110-67) 12 Jan.2019

Born1110 Hexham, Northumberland, England

Died12 January 1167 (aged 56–57) Rievaulx, Yorkshire, England

Resting place Rievaulx chapter house next to William, first abbo tVenerated in Roman Catholic Church; Anglican Communion

Major shrineRievaulx Abbey, Yorkshire, England (destroyed)

Feast12 January

Attributes Abbot holding a book

Patronage bladder stone sufferers

Depiction of Saint Ailred (or Aelred), from an 1845 book |Source=The Historians of Scotland: The Lives of S. Ninian and S. Kentigern (frontispiece) *Saint Aelred |Date=1874 |Author=Alexande

Aelred was an Anglo-Saxon, born in Hexham, Northumbria, in 1110. His father, a married priest, sent him to the court of King David I of Scotland to be trained as a courtier. Aelred rose to be Master of the Household before leaving to enter a Cistercian monastery at Rievaulx Abbey, in Yorkshire, around the year 1134.

Most historians now accept that Aelred was homosexual, drawing upon his work, private letters, and Vitaby Walter Daniel (a contemporary at Rievaulx Abbey).Boswell says there is no doubt he was gay and in particular, his work De spiritali amicitia (“On Spiritual Friendship”) reveals a conscious homosexual orientation, and has been described as “giving love between persons of the same gender its most profound expression in Christian theology”. According to James Neill, Aelred fell in love with a fellow monk called Simon and stayed devoted to him until the latter’s death. Baring-Gould says that Aelred was “much edified with the very looks of a holy monk, called Simon.” Having renounced high birth and fortune for the monastic life, the monk was a “lover of silence” always recollected in God, and rarely spoke. “The very sight of his humility stifled my pride and made me blush at the want of the mortification in my looks.” According to Baring-Gould, “this holy monk, having served God eight years in perfect fidelity, died in 1142, in wonderful peace…”

Wikipedia- Aelred of Rievaul

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