Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

A former convent of Cistercian nuns in the Diocese of Laon, now Soissons, France. Some incorrectly claim that it was the first convent of Cistercian nuns. It was founded in 1136 by Bartholomew, Bishop of Laon, and within a few years it numbered nearly three hundred. In early days the community busied themselves not merely in weaving and embroidery, but also in tilling the fields, clearing the forest, and weeding the soil. So large a number in one community had its disadvantages, for within a century of its foundation the convent was forbidden by the Abbot of Clairvaux to take novices until the number of nuns at Montreuil was reduced to one hundred, which figure was not in future to be exceeded. In the seventeenth century the convent was so much disturbed by the wars which raged in the neighbourhood that the nuns abandoned it and settled in the hospital of St-Lazare close to the city. The list of abbesses is in Gallia Christiana (IX, 639); the convent was suppressed at the French Revolution.

Throughout the Middle Ages Montreuil was a place of pilgrimage, being famous for the "Sainte Face" or Veil of St. Veronica. This picture, which was regarded by many as the original relic, was really a copy of the "Vera Effigies" in St. Peter's at Rome. It was presented in 1249 to the Abbess of Montreuil by her brother Jacques Pantaleon, afterwards Urban IV. The painting, apparently of Eastern origin and already ancient when it came into the hands of the nuns, bore an inscription that seemed undecipherable, even Mabillon being completely baffled by it. Subsequently, however, some Russian savants declared the words to be Slavonic, and to read "Obraz gospoden na-oubrouse" or "Imago Domini in linteo". It seems to have perished with the convent in the French Revolution.

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 between 1907 and 1912 in fifteen hard copy 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


Newsletter Sign Up icon

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

Subscribe to Catholic OnlineYouTube Channel

the FEED
by Catholic Online

  • Happy Thanksgiving Day: Give Thanks with a Grateful Heart
  • Prayer For Courage HD Video
  • BIGGER THAN ISIS - There's a hidden power behind ISIS and it's so big ...
  • St. James Intercisus: Saint of the Day for Friday, November 27, 2015
  • Daily Readings for Friday, November 27, 2015
  • Bet you've never seen a space rocket do THIS!
  • The Miracle Prayer HD Video

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Daniel 7:2-14
2 Daniel said, 'I have been seeing visions in the night. I saw that the ... Read More

Psalm, Daniel 3:75, 76, 77, 78, 79, 80, 81
75 Bless the Lord, mountains and hills, praise and glorify him for ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 21:29-33
29 And he told them a parable, 'Look at the fig tree and indeed every ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for November 27th, 2015 Image

St. James Intercisus
November 27: James was a favorite of King Yezdigerd I of ... Read More