Vendôme (Sainte-Trinité), Abbey of

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Former Benedictine monastery of the Holy Trinity in Vendôme, Loir-et-Cher, France, on the banks of the Loire River (Latin, Sancta Trinitas Vindocinensis ). It was founded by Geoffrey Martel, Count of Anjou, and Agnes of Burgundy; the first monks came from marmoutier. The monastery was begun in 1032; the abbey church was consecrated, May 31, 1040. On May 8, 1063, Alexander II granted the abbot of Vendôme the Roman church of S. Prisca with the title of cardinal; from then on, the abbots of Vendôme enjoyed the dignity of cardinals. After 1579, the abbey entered the Congregation of the Exempts, and in 1621 it was incorporated into the Congregation of Saint-Maur (see maurists). Only ten monks remained at the abbey in 1768. After the abbey was suppressed in the French Revolution, the abbey church, which today is a French national historical monument, became a parish church. Its great tower is a famous landmark. The abbey of Vendôme was famous for its reputed relic of the Holy Tear (a tear shed by the Lord over Lazarus), which had been brought back from the Holy Land by the founder. Several of its monks were renowned for their sanctity and their writings (e.g., geoffrey of vendÔme). It held a large number of dependent priories in the regions of Sarthe, Vendée, the Isle of Oléron, Mayenne, Indreet-Loire and Loir-et-Cher.

Bibliography: c. mÉtais, ed., Cartulaire de l'abbaye cardinale de la Trinité de Vendôme, 4 v. (Paris 189397). Gallia Christiana, v.113 (Paris 171585), v.1416 (Paris 185665) 8: 136479. beaunier, Abbayes et prieurés de l'ancienne France, ed. j. m. l. besse, 12 v. (Paris 190541) v.1. l. h. cottineau, Répertoire topobibliographique des abbayes et prieurés, 2 v. (Mâcon 193539) 2: 331719. r. crozet, "Le Clocher de la Trinité de Vendôme," Bulletin monumental 119 (1961) 139148, photos; "Le Monument de la Sainte-Larme ," ibid. 121 (1963) 171180.

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