Saint Aelred of Rievaulx was an English Cistercian monk and abbot of Rievaulx from 1147 until his death in 1167. He is known as a writer and was born in Hexham, Northumberland. Aelred was never formally canonized but became the center of a cult in the north of England and was venerated as a saint with his body kept at Rievaulx. He was a talented author, theologian, preacher, and diplomat, and many of the monastery's buildings were constructed during his time as abbot. Aelred's surviving works deal with either devotion or history, and his greatest work is considered to be De spirituali amicitia (Spiritual Friendship). He is regarded by Anglicans and Catholics as a saint and is also known as the patron saint of friendship.

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