Saint-Remi, Abbey of
SAINT-REMI, ABBEY OF
Former benedictine Abbey in Reims, France (Latin, S. Remigius Remensis ). As early as 550 the funeral chapel of St. remigius of reims in the Christian cemetery on the outskirts of Reims was served by a community of clerics under the jurisdiction of the bishop. Archbishop Tilpin introduced Benedictine observance (790), and he and his successors titled themselves abbots. Then in 945 Abp. Hugh of Vermandois had the monks reformed by the abbot of Fleury (saint-benoÎt-sur-loire). Saint-Remi became autonomous and had an abbot of its own, the abbot's and the monastery's revenues being kept separate; the archbishops became the protectors of the abbey. Its original wealth was constantly augmented by royal and seigneurial gifts (e.g., priories such as Corbény, Hesdin in Artois, Saint-Rémy in Provence, and numerous villages). Saint-Remi was the primatial abbey of reims, and its monks were on a par with the canons of the cathedral chapter until the 13th century. Then a conflict arose with the archbishops, who wanted to end the abbey's episcopal exemption. As a result, the abbey placed itself under royal protection. Several kings were crowned in the abbey church and are buried there. In 1627, Saint-Remi was affiliated with the maurist congregation. It was suppressed in the French Revolution, but the abbey church (built 1005–1170) is extant, and the conventual buildings are now a museum.
Its library, the best in Reims, had at least 600 manuscripts, most of which were lost in the fire of 1774. In the 9th and 10th centuries the abbey school produced huc-bald of saint-amand, remigius of auxerre, and flodoard; in the 12th century, Odo, author of Miraculas. Remigii, and peter of celle; in the 17th and 18th centuries, the Maurist scholars William Marlot (the historian of Reims), Denis de Sainte-Marthe, mabillon, and Edmond Martène.
Bibliography: b. guÉrard, ed., Polyptique de l'abbaye de Saint-Remi … IXème siècle (Paris 1853). l. demaison, "L'Église Saint-Remi," Congrès archéologique de France … à Reims en 1911, 2 v. (Paris 1912) 1:57–106. j. hourlier, "Le Monastère de St-Remi …," Mémoires de la société d'agriculture, commerce, sciences et arts du département de la Marne 75 (1960) 37–56. n. humann, "Les Constructions médiévales à St-Remi …," ibid. 74 (1959) 34–87; 75 (1960) 57–69.