A holiness of a man is the result of God’s grace and its acceptance by the person involved. A major role is played by examples set by other holy individuals, the environment a person is raised in and those who later help co-create this environment. This corresponds with a man’s mental and spiritual development, greatly impacted by spirituality. In the case of Aelred (1110–1167), a Cistercian abbot of the English monastery in Rievaulx, the saints who shaped his spirituality were the saints of the 7th/8th Centuries, the golden era of Northumberland, where Aelred was born and raised (Hexham and Durham), as well as the universal influence of Benedictine spirituality (6th–11th Centuries), crowned by the Cistercian reform. In effect, Aelred could quote examples of holy role models who he himself valued and revered. Based on his life and his works, we can name the following saints: Cuthbert, holy Cistercian founders, Bernard of Clairvaux, Augustine, Benedict of Nurse, Edward the Confessor, Dunstan, John the Evangelist, Ninian and the Virgin Mary.
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