The Haughty Eleanor of Aquitaine turns to God for Help

July 31, 2014

Eleanor of Aquitaine

Eleanor of Aquitaine

[Eleanor of Aquitaine] and Bernard of Clairvaux met in a private room and began their tête-à-tête. Saint and madcap queen—they made an extraordinary pair….
However, Eleanor remained sufficiently self-possessed to tell him composedly what troubled her. “During all the seven years that she had lived with the king she had remained barren, apart from one hope in the early days, which had been quickly dashed; she despaired of ever having the longed-for child.” Would Bernard of Clairvaux intercede for her and move heaven to answer her prayer?

St Bernard of Clairvaux

St Bernard of Clairvaux

His reply was as uncompromising as the fiery gaze which had stemmed her father’s onslaught years before: “Strive for peace within the realm and I promise you that God in his infinite mercy will grant what you request.”
Within a year of this encounter, the kingdom had been purged of strife and a child was born to the royal couple—a daughter whom they christened Marie in honor of the Queen of Heaven.

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Regine Pernoud, Eleanor of Aquitaine, trans. Peter Wiles (New York: Coward-McCann, Inc., 1968), 45-6.

Short Stories on Honor, Chivalry, and the World of Nobility—no. 407

 

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