Saint Berno, Abbot
Considering the immense influence exercised by Cluny in the development of the monasricism, and indeed of the whole religious life, of western Europe from the tenth to the twelfth centuries, we know strangely little of the personality of its first abbot. Berno seems to have been a man of good family and some wealth. He was himself the founder of the abbey of Gigny, in which he became abbot, having already been the reforming superior of Baume-les-Messieurs, and finally he was pitched upon by Duke William of Aquitaine to rule the monastery which he planned. The site chosen by St. Berno was at Cluny, not far from Mâcon in the centre of France. The Abbey of Cluny was immediately subject to the Holy See, and in the foundations subsequently made the principle of centralization became dominant; but in Berno's day there was no machinery for the central control of the houses with whose reform he was entrusted. Berno ruled from 910 to 927, and perhaps the highest tribute to his personal worth was the devotion always paid to him by St. Odo, who had joined him as a novice at Baume and who, after Berno's death in 927, was to succeed him at Cluny as abbot, perhaps the most famous and energrtic of all its rulers.
See Acta Sanctorum, January 13; E. Sackur, Die Cluniacenser, col. i, pp. 36 seq; Berlière in Revue Bénédictine, vol/ ix, p. 498; and P. Schmitz, Histoire de l'ordre St Benoît, vol. i (1942), pp. 130-132.
Butler's Lives of The Saints, Herbert J. Thurston, S.J. and Donald Attwater
Nihil Obstat: PATRICIVS MORRIS, S.T.D., L.S.S., CENSOR DEPVTATVS.
Imprimatur: E. MORROGH BERNARD, VICARIVS GENERALIS
WESTMONASTERII: DIE XXIII FEBRVARII MCMLIII