Guerric of Igny, Bl.

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Cistercian spiritual theologian; b. Tournai, c. 107080; d. monastery of Igny, Diocese of Reims, France, Aug. 19, 1157. Guerric was initiated into intellectual and ascetical disciplines by Odo of Cambrai. He was first a cathedral canon, the magister scholarum at Tournai until his entry into the Cistercian Order at Clairvaux c. 1125. Elected abbot of the monastery of Igny in 1138, Guerric demonstrated an astonishing mastery of Scripture and a perfect command of the homily genre in his 53 authentic sermons for the liturgical year (Patrologia Latina, ed. J. P. Migne 185:11214). For Guerric, the spiritual life consists in the formation of Christ in men according to His "spiritual form," i.e., their life of grace in Christ, who by His mysteries is both principle and exemplar of supernatural life. Particularly noteworthy is Guerric's emphasis on Mary's maternal role in this formation of Christ in men. Growth is described by him in terms of an ascent into light, culminating in wisdom and contemplation. Some of his writings have been attributed to St. bernard. Guerric's local cultus was approved 1889.

Feast: Aug. 19.

Bibliography: d. de wilde, De beato Guerrico, abbate Igniacensi eiusque doctrina de formatione Christi in nobis (Westmalle, Belgium 1935), includes an edition of Guerric's curious dialogue, "De languore animae amantis," 189196. l. bouyer, The Cistercian Heritage, tr. e. a. livingstone (Westminster, Md.1958) 190203. r. milcamp and a. dubois, "Le bx. Guerric: Sa vie, son oeuvre," in Collectanea ordinis Cisterciensium Reformatorum 19 (1957) 207221; quasi-complete bibliography of authentic and spurious works, manuscripts, editions, and studies, 212221m. b. brard, Catholicisme 5:363364. b. betto, Guerrico d'Igny e i suoi sermoni (Abbazia di Praglia 1988).

[c. waddell]