Catholic Encyclopedia (1913)/Abbey of Morimond

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Fourth daughter of Cîteaux situated in Champagne, Diocese of Langres, France; was founded in 1115 by Odelric d' Aigremont and his wife, Adeline de Choiseul. Arnold, its first abbot, a member of one of the noblest families of Germany was for many years considered as one of the columns of the Cistercian Order. Thanks to his zeal and influence, Morimond took on a rapid growth; numerous colonies therefrom established themselves in France, Germany, Poland, Bohemia, Spain, and the Island of Cyprus. Amongst the most celebrated foundations were Ebrach (1126) the most flourishing in Germany; Holy Cross (1134), the glory of the Order in Austria; Aiguebelle (1137), in France which the Reformed Cistercians have now resuscitated from its ruins. This extension was so prodigious that toward the end of the eighteenth century Morimond counted amongst its filiations nearly seven hundred monasteries for both sexes. Briefs from various popes placed the principal Military Orders of Spain under the spiritual jurisdiction of the Abbot of Morimond: the Order of Calatrava (1187); of Alcantara (1214); the Militia of Christ, in Portugal (1319), and later on those of St. Maurice and St.Lazarus in Savoy. The vast wealth that gradually accumulated, and the continual wars wherefrom Morimond had particularly to suffer, on account of its geographical position, became the cause of decadence. Various attempts at reform were made, but the constant political disorders paralyzed the efforts of the reformers. In 1791 the religious were dispersed, and Morimond ceased to exist.

Morimond had sheltered a great number of religious, renowned both for sanctity and science. The abbatial chair was often filled by abbots whose names are yet celebrated, to whom kings and emperors had confided tasks of the most delicate importance, and whom the popes had honoured with their confidence. A large number of bishops and several cardinals were given to the Church by Morimond, and Benedict XII, before his election, was a monk of affiliation of this abbey. Of the magnificent buildings that formed the abbey and its church, so remarkable for architectural beauty and the richness of ornamentation, nothing now remains but ruins; nevertheless the organ, one of the most wonderful in France, and the choir-stalls now beautify the cathedral of Langres.

Gallia Christiana; MARTENE AND DURAND. Voyage Litteraire de deux Benedictines (1717); DUROIS, Histoire de l'Abbaye de Morimond (Dijon, 1852); MANRIQUE, Annales Cistercienses, (Lyons, 1642); JANANUSCHEK, Originum Cisterciensium, I (Vienna, 1877); JONGUELINUS, Notitia Abbatiarum O. Cist. (Cologne, 1640); LE NAIN, Essai de l'histoire de l'ordre de Citeaux (Paris, 1696).

EDMOND M. OBRECHT