Saint-Victor in Marseilles, Abbey of
SAINT-VICTOR IN MARSEILLES, ABBEY OF
Former monastery of Benedictine monks, subsequently secular canons, in Marseilles, France. About 410, after his long trip to the Near East, John cassian established a church and a monastery over the cemetery close to the port of Marseilles where the martyr victor (c. 290) and his companions had been buried. This monastery, immediately dependent on the bishop and managed by one of his priests, mixed the eremitic and the common life in a pattern Cassian had observed in Egypt and Palestine. His rule, De coenobiorum institutis, of which the first four books were most important, was later abridged as the Regula Cassiani. Saracen and Norman attacks on the monastery in the 9th and 10th centuries were especially destructive. In 1040, the monastery was revived on a new basis: it adopted the benedictine rule and became directly dependent on Rome. At the time of gregory vii it was juris s. Petri and a papal instrument of power. A number of monasteries were incorporated into an "order" under Saint-Victor, and the order soon spread throughout southern France, Spain, and northern Italy. The abbey's estate grew extraordinarily; it also had its own port and a fleet (the future papal fleet of the Avignon popes). A new church was built (1200–09). Popes Innocent III and Benedict XII tightened the discipline of the order through new statutes and by appointing papal visitors. The abbey gained special luster through Abbot Guillaume de Grimoard, the later urban v, who is buried in the still existing church. He founded the abbey's house of studies at Montpellier University. With the Western Schism and the Renaissance, monastic discipline declined: the abbey was given in commendam (1480); the monks abandoned the religious habit for clerical garb; the monastic Breviary was abandoned for the Pianum (1568). The monks became secular canons (1751), and the abbey was suppressed in the French Revolution.
Bibliography: beaunier, Abbayes et prieurés de l'ancienne France, ed. j. m. l. besse, 12 v. (Paris 1905–41) v.2. l. h. cot-tineau, Répertoire topobibliographique des abbayes et prieurés, 2 v. (Mâcon 1935–39) 2:2916. h. leclercq, Dictionnaire d'archéologie chrétienneet de liturgie, ed. f. cabrol, h. leclercq and h. i. marrou, 15 v. (Paris 1907–53) 15.1:545–557. l. f. m. laurin, Notice sur l'antique abbaye de Saint-Victor de Marseille (6th ed. Marseilles 1952).