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Fontenelle (Saint-Wandrille), Abbey of


Benedictine abbey near Caudebec-en-Caux on the right bank of the Seine River, in the Archdiocese of rouen, north France. It was founded in 649 by St. wandrille (d. 668) and his nephew in the forest of Jumièges near the Roman road from Harfleur to Paris. Under the protection of Abp. ouen of rouen and Queen bathildis, it grew to 300 monks in 80 years. Its abbots include Ansebert (678696); Hugh (723732), the pluralist nephew of Charles Martel (bishop of Rouen, Paris, and Bayeux, and abbot of Fontenelle and jumiÈges); and ansegis (823833), the compiler of Carolingian capitularies. St. wulfram of sens (d. 697) evangelized Frisia from Fontenelle; the shrine of his relics was a pilgrimage center (1008 to the 16th century). Revived by Gerwold (787811) after a brief decline, Fontenelle became known for its hagiographies and for the Gesta abbatum Fontanellensium (written 834845, in Monumenta Germaniae Historica: Scriptores, 11:270304). The monks fled the Northmen (852) but returned (960) under Mainardus, a monk of Saint-Bavon in Ghent, to flourish under good abbots; there were 77 monks in 1340. The abbey was placed in commendation (1546), was pillaged by Huguenots (1562), joined the maurists (1636), and was rebuilt. In 1791 it was suppressed, sold, and partly destroyed, but it was restored in 1894 by the archbishop of Rouen with monks from ligugÉ. French law caused the monks to withdraw to Belgium (190123) and to Réray (192331) before they returned in 1931. Abbot Joseph Pothier (18981923) and Lucien David were important revivers of gregorian chant (see solesmes). Fontenelle founded fÉcamp (659), mont-saint-michel (965), Préaux (1034), Grestain (1036), Saint-Benoît-du-Lac in Quebec, Canada (1912), and several priories (7th18th century).

Bibliography: Gesta sanctorum patrum Fontanellensis coenobii (Gesta abbatum Fontanellensium), ed. f. lohier and j. laporte (Rouen-Paris 1936). c. f. toustain and r. p. tassin, Histoire de l'Abbaye de Saint-Wandrille, 16041734, ed. j. laporte (St. Wandrille 1936). f. lot, Études critiques sur l'Abbaye de Saint-Wandrille (Paris 1913). l. h. cottineau, Répertoire topobibliographique des abbayes et prieurés, 2 v. (Mâcon 193539) 2:292124. o. l. kapsner, A Benedictine Bibliography: An Author-Subject Union List, 2 v. (2d ed. Collegeville, Minn. 1962) 2:270271.

[j. laporte]

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