Blessed Achard of Saint Victor (†1171) was magister and second abbot of the community of regular canons at Saint Victor in Paris, and later bishop of Avranches. Lesser known than his brethren Hugh, Richard, and Andrew, Achard was a theologian, a spiritual guide, a brilliant preacher and an astute churchman at a time when it was still possible for someone to be all these at once. His surviving sermons and theological works are now available in a single collection and we are in a position to appreciate the breadth of his knowledge and the keenness of his mind, which was equally at home in traditional monastic theology and in the emerging scholastic theology and metaphysics of the mid-twelfth century.
Hugh Bernard Feiss, OSB, is a monk at the Monastery of the Ascension in Jerome, Idaho. Having earned licentiates in theology and philosophy at The Catholic University of America and an STD from the Anselmianum in Rome, he has previously translated the Works of Peter of Celle (Cistercian Publications, 1987). His recent works include Essential Monastic Wisdom (San Francisco: Harper Collins, 1999); with Ron Pepin and Catherine Hamaker, Two Latin Lives of St. Winefride (Toronto: Peregrina, 2000) and heaven in the Theology of Hugh, Achard, and Richard of St Victor', in Imaging Heaven in the Middle Ages,edited by Jan Emerson and Hugh Feiss (New York: Garlard, 2000) 145-163.