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Valliscaulian Order


A religious order of men deriving its name from the place of foundation, Vallis Caulium or Val-des-Choux (Valley of Cabbages), in Burgundy. In the 12th century, Viard, a lay brother in the Carthusian Priory of Loubigny in the diocese of Langres, secured permission to live as a hermit in the woods. His reputation for sanctity induced the Duke of Burdundy to build a church and a monastery on the site in fulfillment of a vow he had made before going into combat. On Nov. 2, 1193, this hermit became the first prior. The monks wore the Cistercian habit, but the constitution was based on Carthusian Rule. Pope Innocent III confirmed the order in 1205 in a rescript Protectio apostolica. The same year Duke Otto III of Burgundy gave a large tract of forest land around the priory to provide support for the monks. At its height Valdes-Choux had 30 dependent priories, of which the most important in France were Val-Croissant and Val-Benîte near Autun, and Saint-Lieu du petit Valdes-Choux in Dijon. A complete list exists of priors general from Viard, who died after 1213, to Dorothée Jallontz, the last grand prior, who was later abbot of the Cistercian sept-fons monastery. In 1230 monks from Val-des-Choux made three foundations in Scotland: St. John's Priory at Beauly in Inverness, pluscarden priory, and ardchattan priory on Loch Etive in Argyll. By the middle of the 18th century the Val-des-Choux Priory had dwindled to three monks since there had been no professions for 24 years. Gilbert, Bishop of Langres, advised union with a Cistercian monastery. With the approval of Pope Clement XIII and the ratification of the agreement by the Parlement of Burgundy, the Val-des-Choux Priory in 1764 was incorporated with the Cistercian Sept-Forts Monastery in the diocese of Moulins. For a quarter of a century Sept-Forts prospered, only to be swept away in the French Revolution, but restored again in 1845.

Bibliography: Ordinale Conventus Vallis Caulium (Lo, Belgium 1900); p. hÉlyot, Histoire des ordres monastiques , 8v. (Paris 171419), 6:1521, 178180. t. j. a. p. mignaud, Histoire des principales fondations religieuses en Bourgogne (Paris 1864). h. wolter, Lexikon für Theologie und Kirche, ed. j. hofer and k. rahner, 10 v. (2d, new ed. Freiburg 195765); suppl., Das Zweite Vatikanische Konzil: Dokumente und kommentare, ed. h. s. brechter et al., pt. 1 (1966) 6:95.

[g. m. gray]

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