St. Bernard of Clairvaux by Georg Wasshuber (+1732)
One of St. Bernard's associates, Bernard of Pisa, who was the abbot of the Cistercian monastery at Tre Fontane, the site of the martydom of St. Paul just outside Rome, was actually elected Pope, taking the name Pope Eugene III (1145-1153). He would be a holy reforming pope in the mold of St. Leo IX, St. Gregory VII, and Blessed Urban II.
In December 1144 the city of
St. Bernard also assisted in writing the rule and forming the Knights Templar. Indeed, to this end, he wrote an eloquent and robust letter giving advice to the members of this new Chivalrous order. He exhorts, "So go forth in safety, knights, and drive out the enemies of the cross of Christ with fearless intention, certain that neither death nor life can separate you from God’s love, which Jesus Christ embodies; in every moment of danger, fulfill through your own actions the principle: ‘Whether we live or whether we die, we are the Lord’s.’ ‘How glorious the victors returned from battle! How blessed those martyrs who died in battle!Rejoice, brave fighter, if you live and conquer in the Lord; but rather exult and glory, if you die and are joined to the Lord. Life can be fruitful and victory can be glorious; but sacred death is properly to be preferred to either, for if ‘they are blessed who die in the Lord,’ are they not much more so who die on the Lord’s behalf?" and further on he observes, "If a Christian is not allowed to strike with the sword, then why did the Savior’s precursor bid knights be content with their earnings, instead of forbidding them knighthood altogether?" You can read the full text here: St. Bernard: Novae Militiae
This link provides a good account of the life of St. Bernard: Old Catholic Encyclopedia: St. Bernard
This webpage gives a brief overview with some images, links to other sites, and a few other details: Catholic Saints Info: St. Bernard
Finally here is the encyclical letter of Pope Pius XII from 1953AD on St. Bernard: Pope Pius XII, Doctor Mellifluus