Skip to main content

Celles-sur-Belle, Monastery of

CELLES-SUR-BELLE, MONASTERY OF

Former Augustinian foundation near the village of Melle, France, Diocese of Poitiers. It was founded early in the 11th century, on property originally given to the benedictines of saint-maixent by William of Aquitaine, as a priory of canons regular of st. augustine dependent on the Abbey of Saint-Pierre de Lesterp. It was created an abbey by Bp. William II Adelelme of Poitiers in 1140 with Jean de Uzon as the first abbot, and had its independence from Lesterp ratified under Bp. gilbert dela porrÉe in 1148 through a bull of eugene iii. The abbey was dedicated to Our Lady, and the fame of the miracles attributed to her intercession at Celles made it a pilgrimage center from c. 1095, although the great annual pilgrimage, the Septembresch, or the Feast of the Nativity of the Virgin Mary, is first mentioned only in 1395. The pilgrimage flourished into the 15th century, reaching its apogee in the reign of Louis XI, who visited the abbey about ten times, left lavish gifts, and had the 12th-century monastery church reconstructed during the years 1470 to 1477. The pilgrimage was restored in 1899, and Bishop Durfort of Poitiers solemnly crowned the venerated statue of Notre-Dame de Celles on Sept. 26, 1926. The practice of commendation was introduced in 1515 with the nomination of Geoffroy d'Estissac, later abbot-bishop of Maillezais. The monastery was pillaged by the huguenots and abandoned by the monks in 1568. It was besieged again in 1569 by Admiral Coligny, but defended by the Barbeziére family, on whom King Charles IX of France (d. 1574) subsequently bestowed its income. Following attempts by Cardinal F. de La Rochefoucauld and Henri-Louis II de La Rochefoucauld to wrest the control from the Barbezières, the abbey was finally united to the Congregation of France in 1651. The church was rebuilt in 1669, and new cloisters were constructed in 1682. Its income in 1787 was estimated at 14,000 livres, and it had several priories, 12 parishes, and some chapels dependent on it. The last titular abbot was C. talleyrand-pÉrigord. The monks were expelled in 1791, and the property served as a prison for the Vendée rebels. Today the church serves parish needs and is administered by the montfort fathers, who in 1921 established a novitiate in the former cloisters of the abbey.

Bibliography: l. h. cottineau, Répertoire topobibliographique des abbayes et prieurés, 2 v. (Mâon 193539) 1:649. p. calendini, Dictionnaire d'histoire et de géographie ecclésiastiques, ed. a. baudrillart et al. (Paris 1912 ) 12:116118. r. gazeau, Catholicisme. Hier, aujourd'hui et demain, ed. g. jacquemet (Paris 1947) 2:773. a. largeault, Notre-Dame de Celles, son abbaye, son pèlerinage (Parthenay 1900).

[g. e. gingras]

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Celles-sur-Belle, Monastery of." New Catholic Encyclopedia. . Encyclopedia.com. 23 Oct. 2018 <https://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Celles-sur-Belle, Monastery of." New Catholic Encyclopedia. . Encyclopedia.com. (October 23, 2018). https://www.encyclopedia.com/religion/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/celles-sur-belle-monastery

"Celles-sur-Belle, Monastery of." New Catholic Encyclopedia. . Retrieved October 23, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: https://www.encyclopedia.com/religion/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/celles-sur-belle-monastery

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles

Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

http://www.mla.org/style

The Chicago Manual of Style

http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html

American Psychological Association

http://apastyle.apa.org/

Notes:
  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.