Obazine (Aubazine), Abbey of

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Former French abbey, Diocese of Limoges, the present Diocese of Tulle. It was founded in a forest by a group of hermits under stephen of obazine, a follower of the great hermit monk, robert of arbrissel. The benedictine rule was adopted, according to the interpretation of the monks of Dalon, a neighboring community of similar background. Once it was formally organized into an abbey in 1142, it soon founded two other monasteries, La Valette and Bonnaigue, and a convent for nuns, Coyroux. Obazine merged with the cistercians in 1147. It founded four more affiliated houses (those of La Garde Dieu, La Frenade, Grosbos, and Gourdon).

The wars and rule by commendatory abbots led to gradual decline. In 1768 it had only six monks. It was suppressed during the French Revolution. The remodeled early Gothic church (115690) survives as a parish church. Other monastic buildings house a community of nuns.

Bibliography: u. chevalier, Répertoire des sources historiques du moyen-âge. Topobibliographie, 2 v. (Paris 18941903) 2:216566. g. mÜller, "Der Gründer der Abtei Obazine," Cistercienser-Chronik 40 (1928). l. h. cottineau, Répertoire topobibliographique des abbayes et prieurés, 2 v. (Mâcon 193539) 2:185186. r. gazeau, Catholicisme. Hier, aujourd'hui et demain, ed. g. jacquemet (Paris 1947) 1:100607.

[l. j. lekai]