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Marmoutier, Abbey of


Benedictine abbey founded at Tours by St. martin, c. 372, near the grotto where St. Gatian celebrated Mass. In 853 Marmoutier (Majus Monasterium ) was sacked by the Norse, and 116 monks were slain; 20 managed to escape and were sheltered by the canons of St. Martin, who rebuilt the abbey. In 986 it was transferred to St. majolus, abbot of Cluny, at the request of Eudes I, count of Blois, who himself became a monk of Marmoutier. The great church was dedicated by Urban II in 1096. At this time the abbey was placed under papal protection and prospered during the 11th century, when at one time it had 101 priories in its affiliation, ten of them in England. In 1105 Abbot William succeeded Hilgotus and quarreled with Archbishop Rudolph II of Tours over jurisdiction. William went to Rome and received from Paschal II the abbatial benediction refused by Rudolph. In 1253 St. Louis IX protected it against the attacks of the counts of Blois. During the religious wars it was pillaged by Calvinists. In 1637 richelieu made it a commendatory abbey of the Benedictine Congregation of St. Maur. The French Revolution effected its destruction and suppression in 1792. At Marmoutier was kept the ampulla of miraculous oil said to have cured St. Martin and used by Nicolas de thou, bishop of Chartres, in the anointing of King Henry IV (15531619) on Feb. 27, 1594.

Bibliography: l. h. cottineau, Répertoire topobibliographique des abbayes et prieurés, 2 v. (Mâcon 193539) 2:176266. s. hilpisch, Lexikon für Theologie und Kirche, ed. j. hofer and k. rahner, 10 v. (2d, new ed. Freiburg 195765) suppl., Das Zweite Vatikanische Konzil: Dokumente und Kommentare, ed. h. s. brechter et al., pt. 1 (1966) 7:100. Gallia Christiana, v. 113 (Paris 171585), v. 1416 (Paris 185665) 14:192236.

[e. d. mcshane]

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