Egres, Abbey of

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Former Cistercian monastery on the Maros River, near Egres, Hungary, Diocese of Csanád (Latin, Egresium ). Founded by King Béla III in 1179 and settled by monks from pontigny, it was the second cistercian abbey to be founded in Hungary. It was richly endowed by the king and soon had daughter foundations: Kerc in Transylvania (1202) and Szentkereszt (Sancta Crux ) in Slavonia (1214). One of the greatest benefactors of the abbey was King Andrew II of Hungary (120535), father of St. elizabeth of hungary: he had the monastery fortified and the church richly appurtenanced. He was buried there (1235) beside his queen and consort Jolanta (1232). The Mongol hordes destroyed the church and monastery in 1241; after they had been rebuilt they were pillaged (1279) by the Cumans, whom King Béla IV had settled in that area. Abbots of Egres were often appointed by 13th-century popes as arbitrators of various quarrels between peasantry, nobility, towns, and monasteries. During the 14th century spiritual and moral decline set in at Egres, especially under Abbot Peter Peyt from Flanders, who was suspected of heresy. By 1357 the monastery had only six monks. Later, Pope Alexander VI handed over a portion of the abbey's holdings to the bishop of Csanád, and then in 1514 King Ladislaus VI made inevitable its total extinction by giving the abbey with all its possessions to the same bishop. Nothing of the abbey now remains.

Bibliography: e. bartÓk, Az Egresi cisztercita apátság története (Budapest 1911). r. bÉkÉfi, A magyarországi cisztercita rend története (Budapest 1911) 29. t. hÜmpfner, Les Fils de S. Bernard en Hongrie (Budapest 1927). k. juhÁsz, Die Stifte der Tschanader Diözese im Mittelalter (Münster 1927); A csanádi püspökség története, 8 v. (Makó 193047), passim. l. h. cottineau, Répertoire topobibliographique des abbayes et prieurés, 2 v. (Mâcon 193539) 1:1032. m. a. dimier, Dictionnaire d'histoire et de géographie ecclésiastiques, ed. a. baudrillart et al. (Paris 1912) 15:2830.

[m. csÁky]