Thursday, 16 November 2017

Who is Bernard of Clairvaux?

Well, this is a micronationalist blog, so before beginning I will tell you that  Bernard of Clairvaux is the Patron of the Principality of Seborga. But who was him?
Born in 1090, in a noble Burgundian family, Saint Bernard is a mystic, in love with the monastic life. Yet, throughout his life, this loner will be called to arbitrate the affairs of the world and of the Church.
He was Monk in Cîteaux at the age of 22, father abbot at 25, Bernard de Clairvaux founded five abbeys before he had reached his thirtieth year. Reformer of the Cistercians, adviser of kings and popes, the saint, born in 1090 in the decade that sees the first crusade, is also known for his preaching during the second crusade. The radiance of this doctor of the Church is such that one writes his biography during his lifetime. Some call him "the last of the Fathers of the Church".
At the age of 22, Saint Bernard succeeded in convincing his relatives, uncles, brothers and friends, to follow him in the life of destitution of the Cistercian abbey of Cîteaux. On Easter Day, it is not one but thirty men who present themselves to the monastery. A life of austerity awaits them: no meat or fish at meals, work the land. At night, they sleep dressed on straw mattresses on wooden planks. At that time, Cîteaux was the scene of a reform aimed at returning to the strict observance of the rule of Saint Benedict. Following Saint Bernard and his group, the postulants are so numerous that Cîteaux no longer has the place to welcome them and must spread.

Founder, prior and doctrinaire

In 1115, the Abbot of Cîteaux entrusted to St. Bernard a group of monks to found an abbey that would take the name of Clairvaux Abbey, because it was built in a clearing. Indeed, it was at the Val d'Absinthe that the young abbot, future Bernard of Clairvaux, and a few monks from Citeaux, came to cleave more than eight centuries ago a clearing of arid land in the heart of the old a Gaulish forest that covers the hills and valleys of the confines of Champagne and Burgundy.

This land of silence and poverty will become for posterity the great abbey of the "clear valley", Clara Vallis, planted with vines and animated with barns, forges and mills. The site, chosen with care, had been offered by a close relation of Bernard, he understood these elements essential to the organization of a Cistercian abbey (autarky and solitude). These first years in this new monastery are calm. The young Burgundian had time to mature a personal doctrine, a rich expression of Cistercian spirituality. The sermons he gives to his monks and his treatises are copied and disseminated. His radiance spread and the prior of the Carthusians asked him to write about charity. The monks of the order of Saint Bruno are overwhelmed by these writings and want to meet him.

In 1112, monks under Citeaux, or Cistercians - white monks - have 19 convents. At that time they were opposed to the black monks of Cluny who allowed themselves to be accommodated with the rule of St. Benedict. Peter the Venerable, a young monk of 28 years, is elected at the head of a thousand monasteries spread all over Europe. Passionate about the rule of Saint Benedict, he undertakes to reform the Cluniac abbeys. Bernard and he will explain at length about the conflict between white monks and black monks. This polemic brings them closer and they become friends.

Called in the world

By becoming a monk, Bernard wished to lead a reclusive life. From meeting to encounter, he finds himself in contact with the most prominent men of the time and becomes an influential figure. His monastic life was going to be long and frequently interrupted. He has been increasingly consulted on matters of the Church. Mystic and contemplative, Saint Bernard is throughout his life torn from the solitude of Clairvaux to arbitrate royal, episcopal, papal and international affairs, religious or not ...

Saint Bernard is recognized by his contemporaries and maintains many epistolary relations, notably with Hildegarde de Bingen. And when the Church became concerned that the nun, future holy Hildegarde of Bingen, began to write down his visions in his book "Scivias" (1141), Hildegarde appealed to him. St. Bernard will reassure Pope Innocent III by stating that the visions of Hildegard - proclaimed a Doctor of the Church in 2012 by Benedict XVI - are "graces of Heaven".

In 1130, at the death of Pope Honorus, two clans of cardinals competed for the election of the successor. Innocent II, thanks to the support of St. Bernard, who acquired immense fame, was recognized as a legitimate pope, first in France, and after eight years in all of Christendom.

In 1141, Innocent II appointed the new archbishop of Bourges without consulting Louis VII. The latter, jealous, confiscated the property of the clergy and sent soldiers to devastate dioceses. The King of France also asks the bishops who are faithful to him to break the marriage of Thibaud de Champagne, a friend of St. Bernard. The sovereign invaded the estates of Thibaud, burned the borough of Vitry and the church where 1,300 people took refuge. On hearing the cries of his victims, the king is seized with terror. He wrote to Saint Bernard to ask him to absolve him from his sins. The monk answered him harshly, with audacity. His intervention allows a reconciliation between the king, Thibaud de Champagne and the clergy.

On the death of Innocent II, in 1143, Paganelli, a Cistercian brother of St. Bernard, ascended the chair of Peter and became Eugene III. Saint Bernard thinks of the difficulties that his friend will encounter and writes his advice in the form of a book that will later serve many Popes. In the years that followed, Eugene III had to take refuge in several surprises with the white brother: he fled a clan of adverse cardinals. Sick and sick, Saint Bernard retains the power of his pen and writes to the Romans.

Involvement in the Second Crusade

In 1144, tensions in the Holy Land prompted Louis VII to keep his promise to fight to defend the tomb of Christ in order to expiate his crimes in Champagne. But the great nobles did not want to set out again in a crusade: the previous one was so murderous ... The sovereign asked Saint Bernard - always in relation with the countries of the East since he founded the order of the Templars - to convince them. The latter refuses to act except on the request of the pope. In 1146, by order of Eugene III, Saint Bernard became the official preacher of the second crusade.

This war is a failure, like the two that will follow. While the French castles crumble one after the other in the Holy Land, the Cistercian monasteries multiplied. St. Bernard died at the age of 62, on August 20, 1153. Pope Alexander III canonized him in 1174 and Pius VIII proclaimed him Doctor of the Universal Church in 1830.


Bernard of Clairvaux is the Patron of the Principality of Seborga.
Saint Bernard of Clairvaux, not tall and slim build, of poor health, pale with curly hair yet strong and stubborn arrived in Seborga in February 1117, to join Gondemar and Rossal whom he had sent for June 1113, in order to protect the "Great Secret."

The raining prince at the time was Prince Abbot Edward, born near Tulon, a tall man with a soft heart. In September 1118 he ordained the first Knights Templar who formed the famous "Poor Militia of Christ." They were Abbot Gondemar and Rossal, Andre de Montbar Count Hugues I de Champagne, Hugues de Payns, Payen de Mont Didier, Geoffroy de Saint-Omer, Archambaud de Saint Amand and Geoffroy Bisol.

All left Seborga in November 1118, eight arrived in Jerusalem in the morning of May 14th. 1119, Hugues de Champagne joined them six years later on the same day at the same time. 
Click picture for larger version
Particulars of the geographical map drawn by the Genoese Panfilo Vinzoni dated March 1752 for the Diocese of Ventimiglia (where the document is kept) The borders of the Principality of Seborga with the road to the sea up to the bridge of Lisia are clearly visible. The Principality of Seborga is situated between the possessions of the Kingdom of Sardinia north west and the Genoese Republic south east.

In 1127 the nine Templars from Jerusalem to Seborga on the first Advent Sunday of 1127.

Saint Bernard was waiting for them together with Friar Gerard de Martigues who in 1112 had formed the order of the Knights of Malta.

In Seborga in the presence of all the population of 23 Knights and over 100 militias Saint Bernard ordained Hugues de Payns to be the first Grand Master of Saint Bernard Knights.
The consecration with the sword was made by Prince Abbot Edward.
In that same day a vow of silence was made between Saint Bernard of the Knights and the Great Bishop of the Cathars to safeguard "The Great Secret." 

On the Knights Templars 15 were also the Princes of the Cistercian Principality of Seborga, one of theme Guillaume de Chartres died in Seborga as a result of being wounded in the Holy land. In 1611 the last known vow of silence took place in the presence of father Cesario da San Paolo who also became Grand Master, as a remembrance of this day on every roof of Principality were placed 13 roof tiles with the incision- number 13 the date 1611, the letters C.S., and Templar cross.


The OSSCBS is an association established in the legal form of Brotherhood, registered with the competent institutions.
The Order is totally independent and sovereign, not for profit. It works to achieve the association's goals and intends to recover the religious spirit of the ancients Orders of Chivalry, operating with high social value, Filantropica, historical, philological.
Mainly it places every cultural and humanities, encouraging the study, retrieval and organization of ancient venues Orders of Chivalry, of ancient pilgrimages or any place of worship that is the expression of rituals, tradition and Christian devotion.
The Order is inspired by the choice of those particular activities integral and shared, which they were developed in Rule written by St. Bernard of Clairvaux for Paupera Militia Christi, giving concrete shape to every organized for mutual support to the Brothers and the Order.

The Ordo Sancti Sepulchri of the White Knights of Seborga It was officially and publicly acknowledged by the Prince of Seborga, the Privy Council and the Council of Priors of Seborga, which SOLE and effective Order of the White Knights of Seborga.

Saturday 21 May 2016, on the occasion of the sixth anniversary of the election to S.A.S Marcello Prince Ist, It was celebrated another event resulting mutual recognition between 'Ordo Sancti Sepulchri of the White Knights of Seborga (O.S.S.C.B.S.) and the Principality of Seborga.
In the central Piazza San Martino set up with the insignia of 'Ordo Sancti Sepulchri of the White Knights of Seborga (O.S.S.C.B.S.), the presence of the Principality of Seborga population and Authority, It held the nomination ceremony Magister Templi Emeritus di S.A.S. Marcello Ist which the Principality Representative same.
This was made even more evident and the link between the 'Ordo Sancti Sepulchri of the White Knights of Seborga (O.S.S.C.B.S.) and the Principality, because the figure of the Prince of Seborga duly elected by the Citizens, You will have the opportunity to participate in the meetings of the Supreme Council of the Order Priori.
The same Seborga has given the impression to participate joyfully in the ceremony, giving the audience a wonderful and unexpected sunny day and clear skies that has favored the unfolding of the festivities.
A ceremony ended, the Principality has offered a reception held on the same square, the Knights of 'Ordo Sancti Sepulchri of the White Knights of Seborga (O.S.S.C.B.S.) They have had a friendly moment with their guests and were later stuck the license plates of the Order Office Seborga, in Martyrs Square Patriots.


In data 5 February 2015 S.A.S. Marcello The Prince of Seborga, given the strong will to carry on the prerogatives of the Principality of Seborga and the task as Bishop of its new prerogative Seborga Peace, with Credential Letter Appoints Dr. Gianfranco M. War, T.M.M. dell’O.S.S.C.B.S., Honorary Ambassador of the Principality of Seborga.

''With next Credential Letter dated 20 August 2016 Marcello I, always in agreement with the Privy Council and the Council of Priors of Seborga, It extends the Honorary Ambassador also names at Vatican City, the Republic of San Marino and Religious Representations, the former Ambassador Honorary Doctor Gianfranco M. War.''


The Principalities of Seborga and Pontinha are two micronations which are considered as templar countries. Seborga was a country in the past, but then it dissapeared as a country. Now Seborga, is a community of Italy which claims independence, but has a micronational organization for claiming sovereignty. Seborga is known as the Templar country because it was a real templar country in the past. The actual Prince of Seborga which rules this tiny micronation, continues this tradition of making templar ceremonies in his Principality.
But now a ne micronation has emerged, well a micronation but we can consider also as a real country. The King of Portugal sold the Forth of San José to a family. Now the owner says that if the King of Portugal sold the Fort, he also sold the sovereignty of the place. So, the actual owner, Renato Barros proclaimed himself Prince of Pontinha, founding a micronation in his own fort. But the templar relation with the Principality of Pontinha, is very big. The fort which is an islet, is fully of templar elements. Renato II, the Prince of Pontinha is spreading all the templar knowledge that he has. He wants to attract visits to his Principality, so he is trying to get in contact with some Templars.
But Renato II also needs international recognition, as well as the Principality of Seborga. So, Grand Master of the Order of White Knights of Seborga, and Don Renato Barros, reached an agreement.


On 11 February 2017 in Nice, France, an agreement was reached between the Grand Master of the Venerabilis Ordo Sancti Sepulchri (VOSS), also known as Venerable Order of the Holy Sepulchre, or Order of White Knights of Seborga, and Don Renato Barros, Prince of the Principality of Pontinha. With this agreement, the White Knights of Seborga will support the right initiatives of the Prince of Pontinha, who offered the Rock of Pontinha as the seat of the International Templar Confederation "Bernard de Clairvaux". With this agreement, the White Knights of Seborga recognise Pontinha as a sovereign and independent principality, and soon the flag of the White Knights of Seborga will fly on the tallest flagpole of the tower.

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