Abbot Bernard's main qualities included humility, strength, and honesty. He made great efforts to transmit his values and teachings to all he encountered, young and old, whether he knew them for many years or recently met them. Yet he was very forgiving of everyone's mistakes and was always ready to admit his own. He also knew what his limitations were and did not hesitate to delegate some tasks to other creatures and encourage them to do what they were expert at doing, such as cooking or caring for Dibbuns or preparing for war.
Although he was very wise and knowledgeable, the father Abbot was not as aware of his surroundings as Simeon, although the brother was blind. This was often the occasion for jokes and teasing among the old friends.
Abbot Bernard was one of the kindest and most beloved leaders of the Abbey. After succeeding Abbot Thomas, he had spent most of his life caring for the Dibbuns at Redwall Abbey and was already old at the time when Dandin was a young mouse. As all abbots, Bernard's chief concern was always the safety and welfare of all Abbey residents, as well as the sheltering and welcoming of any creature in need. He was assisted in his task by Mother Mellus and Brother Simeon.
During a special Midsummer Jubilee Feast organized by the Abbey in the honor of the Abbot, several newcomers, including Mariel Gullwhacker and Tarquin Longleap Woodsorrel were invited into the Abbey and some eventually became residents. Preparation for this grand occasion lasted two days and was marked by a great abundance of food, including a specially-made Bernard Bread, created by Friar Alder. This feast also featured performances by talented singers and musicians. Dandin wrote a great tribute to the Father Abbot for that feast.
When Greypatch and his sea rats held the Abbey under siege, Abbot Bernard did everything to protect the Abbey residents, especially the Dibbuns, but he also made sure that the routine of the Abbey was not disrupted. The Father Abbot entrusted the warrior hares under the leadership of Colonel Clary with organizing the protection of the Abbey. He was very grateful for their assistance and expert knowledge in warfare, and gave them full leadership and initiative.
At the end of the battle against the tyranny of Gabool the Wild, Abbot Bernard welcomed into the Abbey all the warriors who had fought and survived, including Rawnblade Widestripe, Joseph the Bellmaker, and the Trag.
Abbot Bernard eventually retired and was succeeded by Abbot Saxtus.
Nightwake and Abbot Bernard
The sea rat ship Nightwake was renamed Abbot Bernard in honor of the Father Abbot.
- In Christianity, St. Bernard was an Abbot as well as a doctor, similar to the book.