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Abbey of Pontigny

Second daughter of Ctteaux, was situated on the banks of the Serain, present Diocese of Sens, Department of Yonne

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Pontigny, Abbey of, second daughter of Ctteaux, was situated on the banks of the Serain, present Diocese of Sens, Department of Yonne. Hildebert (or Ansius), a canon of Auxerre, petitioned St. Stephen of Citeaux to found a monastery in a place he had selected for this purpose. St. Stephen in 1114 sent twelve monks under the guidance of Hugh of Macon, a friend and kinsman of St. Bernard. The sanctity of their lives soon attracted so great a number of subjects that during the lifetime of the first two abbots, Hugh and Guichard, twenty-two monasteries were founded. So great an array of episcopal sees in France were filled by men taken from its members, and to such a number of renowned personages did it offer hospitality, that it was called the “cradle of bishops and the asylum for great men”. Amongst the former must be mentioned particularly Blessed Hugh of Macon, Bishop of Auxerre (d. 1151); Gerard, Cardinal Bishop of Prneste (d. 1202); Robert, Cardinal Titular of St. Pudentiana (d. 1294); amongst the latter are mentioned especially three Archbishops of Canterbury, St. Thomas, Stephen Langton, and St. Edmund, who was interred there. Discipline gradually became relaxed, especially from 1456, when the abbey was given in commendam. In 1569 the monastery was pillaged and burnt by the Huguenots, nothing being saved, except the relics of St. Edmund. Partly restored, it continued in existence until suppressed at the French Revolution. It is now in charge of the Fathers of St. Edmund, established there by J.—B. Muard in 1843.

EDMOND M. OBRECHT


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