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LETTER LXIV (A.D. 1139)

To the Above-Named Falco.

The Lord Bishop and I have written, as we thought we ought to do, to my lord the Pope on your behalf, and you have a copy of your letters. It is our determination to stand by you with all our might, because of the good which we hope for from you for the Church. It concerns you so to act that we may not be disappointed of our hope. For the rest, if I have found favour in your sight I pray you think of those poor and needy ones at the house of Benissons Dieu. 9999    Benissons Dieu was a Cistercian Abbey, an offshoot of Clairvaux, in the Diocese of Lyons, and was founded A.D. 1138. Alberic was its first Abbot. Not far from it was the monastery of Savigny, of the order of S. Benedict, in the same diocese. Its Abbot was Iterius, of whom Bernard here complains. Whatsoever you do to one of them you will do to me, nay, to Christ. For they are both poor, and they live amongst the poor. I especially implore you to prevent the monks of Savigny from molesting them, for they are calumniating them unjustly, as I consider. Or if they think that they have justice on their side, judge between them. I ask also that my son, Abbot Alberic, 300though well deserving of your favour through his own merits, may still be in even greater regard through my recommendation. For I love him tenderly, as a mother loves her only child, and he that loveth me will love him. In fact, I shall find out whether you care for me by the way you treat him. For the farther he is away from me the more necessary is it that he should have consolation from your fatherly care.


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