Montmajour, Abbey of

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A former Benedictine abbey in the now-suppressed Diocese of arles, in southern France (Lat. Mons Major ). It was established about the middle of the 10th century, although local legends attribute to it an earlier date of foundation. Like lÉrins and saint-victor in marseilles, the abbey had acquired numerous holdings in southeastern France during the 11th and 12th centuries, and it exercised considerable influence in Dauphiné and Provence. In the following century it had to struggle for its existence against aggressive local lords. In 1639 it joined the maurist reform movement but was suppressed in 1786 and its holdings were distributed among the Provençal dioceses. The abbey church dating from the 12th century has been preserved, as well as a cloister of the same date and a 14th-century tower. The Maurist buildings, restored at the beginning of the 18th century according to the plans of the painter Pierre Mignard (d.1695), are now in ruins.

Bibliography: Gallia Christiana, v. 113 (Paris 171585), v. 1416 (Paris 185665) 4:662665. Mons Major: seu historia monasterii Sancti Petri M. M. secus Arelaten in Provincia O.S.B., ed. c. chantelou (Bibliothèque d'Arles, MSS 162, 163, 164). l. royer, Dictionnaire d'histoire et de géographie ecclésiastiques, ed. a. baudrillart et al. 4:237, 240, 241. m. hartig, 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) 7:591.

[l. gaillard]