Ainay, Abbey of
AINAY, ABBEY OF
Former benedictine monastery of Saint-Martin and former collegiate church, located in the marshy peninsula between the Rhone and the Saône, slightly upstream from the junction of the two rivers, in present-day Lyons, France, Diocese of Lyons (Latin, Athanacum monasterium or Interamnense mon. ). Founded in the 6th century, it suffered a serious crisis in the mid-9th century, and was resettled by Benedictine monks who came apparently from the Paris area. The abbey church, wholly preserved today, was consecrated by Pope Paschal II on Jan. 27, 1107. The abbey prospered in subsequent centuries, and at the end of the 13th century it controlled 200 parishes in the southeastern part of present-day France. Yet this powerful abbey produced no great ecclesiastical writer and gave the Church no saint. Its temporal power, as well as its spiritual influence, was severely curtailed by the wars of religion. It was secularized by a papal bull of Dec. 4, 1685, becoming a collegiate church; the former religious became a chapter of canons. During the French Revolution three of its canons were guillotined. The church is still used as a parish church and is the seat of an archpriest of the city of Lyons. It has been elevated to the rank of a minor basilica.
Bibliography: Gallia Christiana, v. 1–13 (Paris 1715–85), v. 14–16 (Paris 1856–65) 4:233–241. h. a. charpin-feugerolles and m. c. guigue, eds., Grand cartulaire de l'abbaye d’Ainay, 2 v. (Lyons 1885). j. b. vanel, Dictionnaire d'histoire et de géographie ecclésiastiques, ed. a. baudrillart et al. (Paris 1912–) 1:1195–1201. r. gazeau, Catholicisme, 1:248–249.