Saint-Maur-des-Fossés, Abbey of
SAINT-MAUR-DES-FOSSÉS, ABBEY OF
Former royal benedictine monastery, canton of Saint-Maur-des-Fossés, Seine, France, a suburb of Paris; modern Diocese of Paris (Latin, Fossatum, S. Petrus Fossatensis ). It was founded in 638 under King Clovis II and Bp. Aubert, by Bildegisilus, archdeacon of Paris. The first abbot was St. Babolinus. The original monastery was only a coenobiolum; in the 9th century, it had to be rebuilt and a new church constructed. The monastery withstood an attack by the normans in 861, On April 7, 868, at the request of charles the bald, the relics of St. Maur (see maurus of subiaco) were transferred from the cathedral in Paris to the abbey, where it was easier to protect them against the Normans. Bishop Aeneas of Paris carried the body to the monastery himself and ordered a triennial procession in commemoration of this translation, a custom that was observed for several centuries. Furthermore, he gave the abbey a prebend in the cathedral. In the 11th century the abbey participated in the cluniac reform. The abbey enjoyed great prosperity in the Middle Ages thanks to pilgrimages to its holy relics—pilgrimages which, however, did not always occur without serious disorder. At the request of King Francis I c. 1534, Pope Clement VII transformed the abbey into a secular chapter of canons with the abbot as dean, the deanery being united to the Diocese of Paris. The chapter consisted of a chanter and eight canons, appointed by the bishop, each with yearly incomes of from £1,500 to £1,600; four perpetual vicars; one school-teacher; and four choirboys. In 1749 the chapter was incorporated into the chapter of Saint-Louis of the Louvre. By 1786 hardly any of the abbey buildings were still standing.
Bibliography: Beaunier, La France monastique, v.1 of Abbayes et prieurés de l'ancienne France, ed. j. m. l. besse, 12 v. (Paris 1905–41). l. h. cottineau, Répertoire topobibliographique des abbayes et prieurés, 2 v. (Mâcon 1935–39) 2:2800–02.