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Fontfroide, Abbey of


Former French abbey, first Benedictine, later Cistercian, in the Diocese of Narbonne, the present-day Diocese of Carcassonne. Fontfroide was founded by benedictines in 1093, but was acquired by the Abbey of Grandselve in 1142, both houses becoming affiliated with clairvaux in 1145. From this date the community grew rapidly. In 1149, it founded Poblet in Spain, and in 1242, Valbonne in the French Pyrenees. The cistercians of Fontfroide played an important role in the fight against the albigenses. The martyred peter of castelnau (d. 1208) was a member of the community. The famous abbot of Fontfroide, Jacques Fournier, became benedict xii (133442). After the mid-15th century Fontfroide was under commendatory abbots and subsequently lost much of its wealth and membership. In 1768 it had ten professed monks and an annual revenue of 14,000 livres. In 1783 the abbot's portion of the monastic income was granted to the Diocese of Perpignan. Fontfroide was suppressed during the French Revolution in 1791, but was reoccupied by the Cistercians of Sénanque in 1858. The community was ousted again by the French government in 1901. In 1919 the returning monks were resettled in the former Benedictine abbey of Saint-Michel de Cuxa, Fontfroide having been sold. The surviving church of Fontfroide was constructed in the late 12th century and is a fine example of early Cistercian Gothic.

Bibliography: É. capelle, L'Abbaye de Fontfroide (Paris 1903). c. boyer, Abbaye de Fontfroide (Carcassonne 1932). u. chevalier, Répertoire des sources historiques du moyen-âge. Topobibliographie, 2 v. (Paris 18941903) 1:1142. l. h. cottineau, Répertoire topobibliographique des abbayes et prieurés, 2 v. (Mâcon 193539) 1:118889. m. b. brard, Catholicisme. Hier, aujourd'hui et demain, ed. g. jacquemet (Paris 1947) 4:142930.

[l. j. lekai]

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