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The Catholic monastic order emerged as a reform movement from the Benedictine order and has its origins in French Burgundy. It was founded in 1098 by Robert de Molesme (1029-1111) in the ancestral monastery of Cîteaux north of Beaune. As a significant distinction, the monks wear white instead of black Benedictine robes. Saint Bernard de Clairvaux (1090-1153) founded the Clairvaux monastery in 1115 and issued a new rule of the order. As soon as a Cistercian monastery had 60 monks, twelve of them had to move out and found a new monastery, which led to a strong expansion of the order. This led to a tremendous expansion, because in 1153 there were already 400 abbeys and 100 years later 2,000 Cistercian and 1,400 nunneries throughout Europe.

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