Saint-Quentin, Monastery of
SAINT-QUENTIN, MONASTERY OF
Former foundation of Canons Regular in Vermandois, city of Saint-Quentin, Aisne, France (Latin, S. Quintinus Veromanduensis ). A small building erected over the tomb of the martyr St. Quentin in 355 seems to have been destroyed c. 362 under Emperor Julian the Apostate and then rebuilt in 497 after the baptism of clovis. When eligius, Bishop of Noyon, rediscovered the relics of Quentin (650), he founded a monastery whose first abbot was Ebertran, a German from Constance and former monk of luxeuil. Abbot Fulrad, who was succeeded by Hugh, a son of Charlemagne, restored the basilica between 814 and 824, but the normans burned it in 883. In the 10th century canons regular of st. augustine replaced the monks, their superiors for some time retaining the title of "abbot." One of the deans was Dudo of Saint-Quentin (first half of the 11th century) who wrote the Historia Normanorum in three books. At this time, the monastery's income was divided into individual prebends and the community suffered a corresponding weakening of discipline. Eventually in 1214, Robert of Courtonne, Cardinal and Legate of the Holy See, divided the area, which had previously comprised one parish for Saint-Quentin, into nine parishes. In 1257 the relics of SS. Quentin, Victricius, and Cassian were transferred to the church choir in the presence of King Louis IX. Numerous conflicts from the 13th to the 18th century erupted between the dean and chapter, or between the canons and bishop of Noyon. The French Revolution abolished the abbey. The collegiate church with one of the most magnificent naves in France survives, having been restored after World War I bombing. The architecture is 13th-and 14th-century Gothic with surviving traces of the 1114 edifice. It is 315 feet long and 175 feet high; it has two transepts separated by a double ambulatory with four bays, and 110 windows, those of the choir being 13th-and 14th-century stained glass. The crypt (13th century) houses the tomb of St. Quentin.
Bibliography: o. hachet, La Basilique de St. Quentin (Saint-Quentin 1909). h. leclercq, Dictionnaire d'archéologie chrétienneet de liturgie, ed. f. cabrol, h. leclercq and h. i. marrou, 15v. (Paris 1907–53) 14.2:2025.