Patron saint for Bladder Stone Sufferers – Aelred of Rievaulx

Aelred of Rievaulx was born in 1110, to noble parents.  He had two brothers.  Aelred attended the cathedral school at Durham.  He spent several years in the court of King David I of Scotland, likely from age 14 to 24 to enter the Cistercian abbey of Rievaulx.  In 1142, he traveled to Rome.  He brought back a letter from Pope Innocent II. When he returned he became a novice master at Rievaulx.  In 1143 he was appointed the new abbot of a daughter house of Rievaulx.  In 1147, he was elected abbot of Rievaulx, which he held until his death.  He few the abbey to have over 140 monks and 500 laymen. During the last ten years of his life, his health deteriorated, and he suffered from gout and a bad cough. St. Aelred wrote his most famous work, The Mirror of Charity, at the request of Bernard of Clairvaux. He also wrote the biography of St. Ninian and of Edward the Confessor.  He also wrote seven works of history, addressing three of them to Henry II of England, advising him how to be a good king. 

In his later years, he is thought to have suffered from kidney and bladder stones and arthritis. Aelred died on 12 January 1167 at Rievaulx.