A Benedictine abbey near Alost in Brabant, Belgium. It was founded by a party of six knights who, after abandoning their wild life, had resolved to do penance in the religious life on the scene of their former excesses. After building a church, they received, in 1084, a gift of the neighbouring lands from the Countess Adela and her sons. The rule of St. Benedict was adopted, a Benedictine, Wederig, having been the instrument of their conversion, and in after times the abbey became known for its strict observance of religious discipline. The Dukes of Brabant and Lorraine, and the Counts of Flanders, Louvain, Brussels, and Bologne were its patrons and protectors, and regarded it as a coveted privilege to be buried in the abbey church. Several monasteries, among them Maria-Laach, owe their foundation to monks from Afflighem. St. Bernard, who visited the abbey in 1146, declared that he had found angels there. It was during this visit that an image of Our Lady is said to have replied to the salutation of the Saint. In 1523, Afflighem joined the Bursfeld Congregation -- a union of Benedictine Monasteries formed in the fifteenth century for the stricter observance of monastic rule. In 1569, the Archbishop of Mechlin became commendatory abbot and exercised his authority through a prior. This continued until the Suppression. Archbishop Boonen desired to sever relations with the Bursfeld Congregation and introduce the Monte Cassino observance. Yielding to his solicitations, the Prior, Benedict Haeften, founded, in 1627, a new congregation, "B. M. V. in Templo Pr(sentat(". It included Afflighem and several other Belgian monasteries. It was dissolved in 1654. In 1796, in consequence of the French Revolution , the monks were dispersed, the buildings destroyed, and the lands sold. The last Prior, Beda Regauts, preserved the miraculous image of Our Lady, and the staff and chalice which had been presented by St. Bernard. These came into the possession of the Benedictine, Veremund Daens, who, in 1838, began a new foundation at Termonde, which was transferred in 1869 to Afflighem. The first abbot of the old abbey was Fulgentius (1088-1122). Among the more prominent of his successors may be mentioned Franco, (1122-35), the author of twelve books "De Grati(" (P.L., CLXVI), Albert, whose devotion to Our Lady won him the title Abbas Marianus , and Benedict Haeften, the author of several works of art.
The Catholic Encyclopedia is the most comprehensive resource on Catholic teaching, history, and information ever gathered in all of human history. This easy-to-search online version was originally printed in fifteen hardcopy volumes.
Designed to present its readers with the full body of Catholic teaching, the Encyclopedia contains not only precise statements of what the Church has defined, but also an impartial record of different views of acknowledged authority on all disputed questions, national, political or factional. In the determination of the truth the most recent and acknowledged scientific methods are employed, and the results of the latest research in theology, philosophy, history, apologetics, archaeology, and other sciences are given careful consideration.
No one who is interested in human history, past and present, can ignore the Catholic Church, either as an institution which has been the central figure in the civilized world for nearly two thousand years, decisively affecting its destinies, religious, literary, scientific, social and political, or as an existing power whose influence and activity extend to every part of the globe. In the past century the Church has grown both extensively and intensively among English-speaking peoples. Their living interests demand that they should have the means of informing themselves about this vast institution, which, whether they are Catholics or not, affects their fortunes and their destiny.
Copyright © Catholic Encyclopedia. Robert Appleton Company New York, NY. Volume 1: 1907; Volume 2: 1907; Volume 3: 1908; Volume 4: 1908; Volume 5: 1909; Volume 6: 1909; Volume 7: 1910; Volume 8: 1910; Volume 9: 1910; Volume 10: 1911; Volume 11: - 1911; Volume 12: - 1911; Volume 13: - 1912; Volume 14: 1912; Volume 15: 1912
Catholic Online Catholic Encyclopedia Digital version Compiled and Copyright © Catholic Online