In Bernard’s some five hundred extant letters…he sent out twenty-three letters to women, some of them quite lengthy…[O]n the rare occasions when Bernard speaks negatively about women, he always applies it to men…When another occasion arose for him to warn religious about keeping company with women, he laid the blame, not on the women, but on the men who exposed themselves to danger…In echoing the tradition of the Church on the way bishops and monks should live, Bernard was well aware of his own frailty. But not a word is said about that of women.

Jean Leclercq, Women and Saint Bernard of Clairvaux (1989)


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