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The patron saint and protector of skiers, mountain climbers, snowboarders, and backpackers as a result of 40 years as a missionary in the Alps, St. Bernard of Montjoux was born in Italy in 923. He died in 1008. His famous hospice that took care of travelers for nearly a thousand years developed the St. Bernard dogs named for the hospice.

Bernard of Montjoux founded schools and churches throughout the Alps, but is best known for the two mountain hospices that helped lost travelers through the mountain passes. Those who followed him were named Augustinian canons eventually building a monastery. The order was active through the 20th Century.

Bernard is celebrated with a May 28 feast day. He was canonized by Pope Innocent XI in 1681. Pope Pius XI named him patron saint of the Alps in 1923. His image is displayed on flags by units in the Tyrolean Alpine Guard.

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