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Encyclopædia Britannica, Ninth Edition/Grandimontanes

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GRANDIMONTANES, or Grammontines (Ordo Grandimontensis), a small religious order confined almost entirely to France. Its origin, which can be traced to about the close of the llth century, is involved in some obscurity. The founder, St Stephen of Tigerno or Thiers, was born at Chateau Thiers, in Auvergne, in 1046, was educated for the church partly at Benevento and partly at Rome, and, returning home about 1073, in obedience to the solicitations of an inner voice which had been making itself heard for years, embraced a life of solitary asceticism. The scene of his retreat was the lonely glen of Muret, about a league eastward from Limoges ; as his reputation for piety ex tended, his cell became a favourite resort with many like- minded persons, and ultimately a community large enough to excite public attention was formed. The nature of the rule observed by them at that time is not accurately known ; a reply which, according to tradition, Stephen gave to the papal legates when asked to give some account of himself, forbids alike the belief that he identified himself with any of the religious orders then in existence and the assumption that he had already received permission to establish a new one, Shortly after his death, which occurred on the 8th of February 1124, the lands at Muret were claimed by the neigh bouring Augustinian friars of Ambazac, a circumstance which in 1154 compelled the followers of Stephen to remove their abode, under the leadership of their second "corrector," some miles further eastward, to Grammont or Grandmont, whence the order subsequently took its name. So far as can be ascertained, the rule by which the community was governed was not reduced to writing until the time of Stephen of Lisiac, its fourth corrector. This rule, which was confirmed by Urban III. in 1186, was characterized by considerable severity, especially in the matters of silence, fasting, and flagellation ; its rigour, however, was mitigated by Innocent IV. in 1247, and again by Clement V. in 1309. Under Stephen of Lisiac the order greatly flourished in Aquitania, Anjou, and Normandy, where the number of its establishments in 1 170 is said to have exceeded sixty. The first Grandimontane house within the dominions of the king of France was that founded at Vincennes near Paris by Louis VII. in 1164; it soon acquired a position of con siderable importance. Stephen of Thiers was, at the re quest of Henry II. of England, canonized by Clement III. in 1189; and the bestowal of this honour seems to have marked a culminating point in the history of the order which he had originated. The Grandimontanes (sometimes also like the followers of Francisco de Paola called Les bons- hommes), owing to an almost endless series of internal dis putes at once symptomatic and productive of disunion and disorganization, failed to achieve any considerable place in history, and were finally pensioned off and disbanded in 1769. To them belonged, until 1463, the priory of Cres- well in Herefordshire, and also until 1441 that of Alber- bury or Abberbury in Shropshire.

The Annalcs of the order were published at Troyes in 1662; and

the Regula, sometimes attributed, though erroneously, to Stephen of Thiers, was first printed in the 17th century. A collection of maxims or instructions, professedly by the same author, lias also been largely circulated in France since 1704. See Helyot, Histoire

dcs Ordrcs Monastiqucs, vol. vi.