Tiron, Abbey of

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Former monastery, head of the benedictine congregation of Tironian monks, properly called La Sainte-Trinité de Tiron (Thiron, Tyron; Latin, Tyronium ) in the Diocese of Chartres, department of Eure-et-Loir, commune of Thiron-Gardais, France. It was founded by (St.) bernard of tiron in February 1114 in the parish of Gar-dais, near the Thironne stream. A monk at Saint-Cyprien of Poitiers, which had been reformed by the Abbey of chaise-dieu, Bernard had become abbot and then left to become a hermit. Eventually he settled his 500 disciples in the forest of Le Perche, where he founded Tiron. His monks, who followed the strict benedictine rule, avoided material wealth, living in great poverty, supporting themselves by some agriculture and placing much emphasis on craft work. Chanting was subordinated to meditation. After Bernard's death in 1117 his successors gradually abandoned his ideals and inclined increasingly toward Cluniac usages (see cluniac reform). Between 1114 and 1191 Tiron founded nine abbeys in France, and five in Scotland, and nearly 100 priories, thus forming the Congregation of Tiron, which held annual chapter meetings. Tiron was burned by the English in 1428 and by the Protestants in 1562. In 1629 Tiron, experiencing a period of decline, was united to the maurists. It maintained a college of 150 students. The abbey was suppressed in the French Revolution (1790). Today the abbey church and a few buildings remain.

Bibliography: l. merlet, ed., Cartulaire de l'abbaye de la Sainte-Trinité de Tiron, 2 v. (Chartres 188283). Acta Sanctorum April 2:220254. Gallia Christiana, v.113 (Paris 171585),v.1416 (Paris 185665) 8:125777. l. h. cottineau, Répertoire topobibliographique des abbayes et prieurés, 2 v. (Mâcon 193539) 2:316263. d. knowles and r. n. hadcock, Medieval Religious Houses: England and Wales (New York 1953) 102.

[j. laporte]