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Jouarre-en-Brie, Abbey of


French abbey of Benedictine nuns, Diocese of Meaux. The foundation of Jouarre-en-Brie between 630 and 634 was sponsored by Bl. Adon, former treasurer to King Clotaire II. Originally it was a double monastery for monks and nuns, the former coming from luxeuil. The nuns eventually took over the entire foundation. The abbess enjoyed full seignorial authority over the abbatial domains. In Carolingian times the abbey was a famous school for girls of the nobility. From 1225 to 1690 the abbess, always of the highest nobility, exercised a quasi-episcopal authority over the parishes on her estates, appointing the pastors and maintaining a chapter of 12 canons in the abbey, who served as chaplains. The abbey was sacked three times during the Hundred Years' War. The ruined and depopulated house was reformed in 1523, but the subsequent religious wars precipitated another decline. Abbess Charlotte of Bourbon, who had been forced to enter the convent by her family, escaped in 1572 and embraced Protestantism. Early in the 17th century the church and convent were magnificently rebuilt by Abbess Jeanne of Lorraine. Later Abbess Henriette of Lorraine was involved in a famous debate with Bishop bossuet of Meaux and was forced to relinquish many of her privileges. The French Revolution suppressed the abbey in 1791. The church was destroyed but the convent was reoccupied by Benedictine nuns in 1837.

Bibliography: j. b. bossuet, Oeuvres complètes, 48 v. (Paris 182831) 30:187323. h. thiercelin, Le monastère de Jouarre, son histoire jusqu'à la Révolution (Paris 1861). u. chevalier, Répertoire des sources historiques du moyen-âge. Topobibliographie, 2 v. (Paris 18941903) 1:1577. L'Abbaye royale Notre-Dame de Jouarre, 2 v. (Paris 1961). l. h. cottineau, Répertoire topobibliographique des abbayes et prieurés, 2 v. (Mâcon 193539) 1:148990.

[l. j. lekai]

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