Zircz (ZIRCENSIS) or Boccon, Cistercian abbey, situated in the Diocese of Veszprem, Hungary. The early history of the monastery is enveloped in much obscurity, as regards both names and dates, on account of its being so often referred to under both these titles. Whether Zircz and De Boccon were separate abbeys cannot now be definitely determined. It seems most probable that the foundation was made by Bela III, King of Hungary (1182), as the monastic domain was formerly a royal farm. Besides this grant, on which now stands the city of Zircz, many other donations were made to the nascent abbey, which soon became one of the most celebrated in the country. It was rich not only in temporal possessions but also in the spirit of fervor and religious regularity. This happy state continued for three centuries, but decadence set in before the end of the fifteenth century, and by 1526 the ravages of heresy had depopulated the monastery, not one religious remaining at that year; the buildings and possessions passed into the hands of laymen. In the seventeenth century (1609) it was acquired by Canon Michael Monoszloy; thenceforth it remained the property of ecclesiastics, and in 1659 it was given to Holweis, Abbot of the Cistercian abbey at Lilienfeld, who appointed Martin Ujfalusy (1660) its abbot. From the jurisdiction of Lilienfeld it was transferred successively to that of Borsmonostor (1678) and Heinrichau (1700). From this latter abbey came a number of religious who gradually restored first the monastic buildings and church (consecrated 1745) and then regular observance in its primitive vigor. In 1810 the community, in common with many others, was expelled, but was restored in 1814 under Abbot Antonius Dreta, from which time the abbey prospered more than ever before. Under his administration the abbeys at Pilis and Paszto were united to Zircz; as was likewise, in 1878, the abbey at Szentgotthard. Zircz is now governed by Dom Edmund Paul Vajda, elected May 9, 1891, and is one of the most flourishing abbeys in Hungary. It contains 105 priests, 35 clerics, and 11 novices; in all 151 choir members.
EDMOND M. OBRECHT