Bernard of Toledo (c.1050-1128)

Born Bernard of Sedirac in Gascony (Southwest France) around 1050, he was a Cluniac monk first educated in St. Orens abbey near Auch (Southwest France) and then in Cluny where he became chamberlain. After a brief stint in 1078 as prior of St. Orens, he was sent to Spain by the abbot of Cluny Hugh the Great following a wish from Alfonso VI, King of León & Castile (Northeast Spain). More likely this wish came from his wife Constance of Burgundy who happened to be the niece of Hugh the Great.

There in 1080, Bernard was made abbot of St. Facundus at Sahagún in León and worked tirelessly to implement the Roman liturgy. King Alfonso VI, great benefactor of Cluny, named him archbishop of Toledo in 1080. He was present at the council of Clermont in 1095 when pope Urban II (a Cluniac monk himself) preached the First crusade.

Following the death of Alfonso VI in 1108 and the election of a new pope Calixtus II in 1119, Bernard lost some of his temporal powers to Diego Gelmírez, archbishop of Compostela in Galicia (Northeast Spain). Calixtus II, who was the brother in law of the new queen of Castile Urraca, with Diego and the queen strove to make Compostela a major pilgrimage destination taking away the luster of Toledo.

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