Aulne-sur-Sambre, Abbey of

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Former Cistercian monastery, on the Sambre River, former Diocese of Liège, present Diocese of Tournai, Belgium (also Alna, Alne, Aune). Founded as a benedictine abbey in the 7th century, it came briefly under the Rule of St. augustine in 1144, but in 1147 became a cistercian abbey, daughterhouse of clairvaux. It continued as a flourishing monastery until it was burned by the French revolutionary armies in 1794. Its extensive ruins include the church (13th-and 16th-century Gothic) and several monastic buildings dating from the 18th century when the entire monastery was restored in the baroque manner, except for the earlier church. Hagiography records several names from Aulne: Bl. Walter and Bl. Wéry (d. 1217), priors; Bl. Simon (d. 1229), a conversus. Jean de Gesves (d. 1420) was an effective reformer of monks and nuns. Outstanding in the intellectual sphere was Reginald de la Buissière (d. after 1400), master at Paris, Heidelberg, and Cologne. The abbey library, before it was burned, was especially noteworthy. In 1629, Aulne erected a university college in Louvain which in 1857 became the American College for clergy from the U.S.

Bibliography: Statuta capitulorum generalium ordinis cisterciensis, ed. j. m. canivez, 8 v. (Louvain 193341), passim. l. janauschek, Origines cistercienses, v.1 (Vienna 1877) 108. u. berliÈre, Monasticon belge (Bruges 1890) 1:329342. e. reusens, "Collège de l'abbaye d'Alne," Analectes pour servir à l'histoire ecclésiastique de la Belgique 23 (1892) 106124. g. boulmont, Les Fastes de l'abbaye d'Aulne (Ghent n.d., c. 1907). p. clemen and c. gurlitt, Die Klosterbauten der Cistercienser in Belgien (Berlin 1916). j. m. canivez, L'Ordre de Cîteaux en Belgique (Forges-lez-Chimay, Belg. 1926) 94103; Dictionnaire d'histoire et de géographie ecclésiastiques, ed. a. baudrillart et al. (Paris 1912) 5:667669. l. h. cottineau, Répertoire topobibliographique des abbayes et prieurés, 2 v. (Mâcon 193539) 1:202203.

[m. standaert]