from cave to monastery

Aug 11, 2011

Across the river from Gombaud’s cave is the Abbey. This was founded later in the 11th century (1091). Over the history this monastery has a history of rising and falling, of decadence and devotion. The wikipedia link gives a good overview of the history.

The monastery was destroyed twice, first at the time of the reformation, then in the French revolution.  When the Trappist monks arrived here in the 1800’s they found ruins. The magnificent Abbey Church had been mostly destroyed to below half its height in the nave. Inside the Church there were large trees growing. The locals at the time knew this place as ‘the ruins’.
But the Trappists rebuilt the monastery. Early in the 1900’s it became a diocesan seminary, then in 1948 the Benedictines of Solesmes Abbey made a new Benedictine foundation here.

The years since have been a time of great rebirth. There are now 80 monks at the Abbey. Over the 60 year history there have been four foundations from this monastery.

One of the foundations is in the United States. Some of the American and Canadians who had joined this French monastery returned to the US in 1999 to found a monastery at Clear Creek in Oklahoma.

This Gloria.tv.com clip gives an introduction to their mission, and also a good overview of daily life in the monasteries founded from Solesmes.



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