Today is the traditional date for the feast of St. Aelred of Rievaulx (1110 – 12 January 1167).
St. Aelred’s most familiar extant work is On Spiritual Friendship (read an excerpt here), a work that some have interpreted as a paean to same-sex love.
Aelred was of noble descent, and was born in the north of England, in 1109. Being educated in learning and piety, he was invited by David, the pious king of Scotland, to his court, made master of his household, and highly esteemed both by him and the courtiers. His virtue shone with bright luster in the world, particularly his meekness, which Christ declared to be his favorite virtue, and the distinguishing mark of his true disciples. The following is a memorable instance to what a degree he possessed this virtue: a certain person of quality having insulted and reproached him in the presence of the king, Aelred heard him out with patience, and thanked him for his charity and sincerity, in telling him his faults. This behavior had such an influence on his adversary as made him ask his pardon on the spot.