Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

A celebrated Benedictine monastery in a village of the same name, Canton of Laignes (Côte-d'Or), ancient Burgundy, on the confines of the Diocese of Langres and Troyes. St. Robert, Abbot of St-Michael de Tonnere, not finding his monks disposed to observe the Rule of St. Benedict in its original simplicity, left them, accompanied by a few monks and hermits, and selected a spot on the declivity of a hill, to the right of the River Leignes, where, having obtained a grant of land from Hugo de Norlennac, they built a house and oratory from the boughts of trees. Here they lived in extreme poverty until a certain bishop visited them, and, seeing their need, sent them a supply of food and clothing. Members of the noblest families, hearing of the saintly lives of these religious, soon hastened from all parts of the country to join them, bringing in many cases their worldly possessions, which, added to numerous other benefactions, enabled them to erect a church, the most beautiful in the country around, and suitable monastic buildings. The increase in numbers and possessions caused a temporary relaxation in fervour, in so far that the monks ceased to relish the work of the fields, being willing to live on the alms given them. Matters having gone even so far as open rebellion, St. Robert and the most fervent religious left Molesme (1098) and founded Cîteaux, which, though intended as a Benedictine monastery, became the first and mother-house of the Cistercian Order . The monks of Molesms, repenting of their faults, begged Urban II to oblige St. Robert to return to themn, and this request was acceded to (1099); Robert continued to govern them until his death (1110). Besides Cîteaux, Molesme founded seven or eight other monasteries, and had about as many monasteries of Benedictine nuns under its jurisdiction. The church and monastery were destroyed and their possessions confiscated in 1472 during the war between France and Burgundy. The buildings were again burned by the heretics towards the close of the sixteenth century. In the seventeenth century the fervour of the monastery was renewed on the introduction of the reform of St. Maur (1648). All the glory of Molesme has now vanished. The magnificent church is razed to the ground, and the monastic buildings are used, a small part as a school, and the rest as common dwellings.


More Encyclopedia

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.

Catholic Encyclopedia

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


Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Sirach 44:1, 10-15
1 Next let us praise illustrious men, our ancestors ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 132:11, 13-14, 17-18
11 Yahweh has sworn to David, and will always remain ... Read More

Gospel, Matthew 13:16-17
16 'But blessed are your eyes because they see, your ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for July 26th, 2014 Image

Sts. Joachim and Anne
July 26: By tradition Joachim and Anne are considered to be the names of ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter