Melleray, Abbey of
MELLERAY, ABBEY OF
Trappist monastery in the diocese of Nantes, Brittany. It was founded in 1145 by cistercians from Pontron Abbey, Anjou. Melleray declined after it was granted in commendam (1544), and although the strict observance was later introduced, there were only three monks in 1768. After its suppression (1791), the property was purchased by trappists of Lulworth, England (1817). By 1829 the community of 59 had increased to 192. They founded mount melleray in Ireland (1833), gethes mani abbey in the United States (1848), and a monastery in Algeria. Abbot Eugene Vachette (1875–1919) became vicar-general of la trappe and aided in uniting the three Trappist congregations into the order of Reformed Cistercians. John Baptist Ollitrault de Kéryvallen, his successor, became abbot-general in 1923. The community decreased between the world wars, but flourished later under Dom Columban Bissey.
Bibliography: a. guillotin de corson, Étude historique: L'Abbaye de Melleray avant la révolution (Saint-Brieuc 1895). j.m. canivez, ed., Statuta capitulorum generalium ordinis cisterciensis, 8 v. (Louvain 1933–41) 8:329. l. h. cottineau, Répertoire topobibliographique des abbayes et prieurés, 2 v. (Mâcon 1935–39) 2:1813. a. bernard, "L'Abbaye de M. et les Trappistes," Les Annales de Nantes, 104 (1956). g. venzac, "À M. au siècle dernier ou les romantiques à la Trappe," Collectanea ordinis Cisterciensium Reformatorum 21 (1959) 206–227, 336–356.
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