Verdun-sur-Meuse, Abbey of

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Former Benedictine abbey, known also as Saint-Vanne of Verdun, France. The abbey was founded c. 951 by Bishop Berengar, on the site of the first church in Verdun (4th century) which had been built at the tomb of St. vitonus. The church already had a community of canons. After an uncertain beginning, the Benedictine foundation took root under Abbot Richard (100446), a reformer whose activities and reputation spread far beyond Lorraine. The relics of St. Sanctinus, first bishop of Verdun, were brought from Meaux in 1032 and were kept at Saint-Vanne in great veneration. After 1552 the buildings of the abbey were enclosed by the walls of the citadel of Verdun, a famous French fortification. In 1604 the Abbey of Saint-Vanne was united to the Abbey of moyenmoutier to form the Congregation of Saint-Vanne and Saint-Hydulphe, binding together more than 50 monasteries in Lorraine, Franche-Comté, and Champagne. Though it had given its name to the congregation, the Abbey of Saint-Vanne did not hold a special place in it. The whole congregation (Saint-Vanne especially) was penetrated by jansenism. The abbey was suppressed in 1791, after having been used for a time as a gathering place for the religious of the city of Verdun who wished to follow the common life after the French Revolution had suppressed their monasteries.

See Also: maurists.

Bibliography: h. bloch, "Die älteren Urkunden des Klosters S. Vanne zu Verdun," Jahrbuch der Gesellschaft für lothringische Geschichte und Altertumskunde 10 (1898) 341449; 14 (1902) 48150. e. didier-laurent, "Dom Didier de la cour et la réforme des Bénédictins de Lorraine," Mémoires de la société d'archéologie Lorraine 53 (1903) 265502. h. dauphin, Le Bien-heureux Richard, Abbé de Saint-Vanne de Verdun, 1046 (Louvain 1946). r. taveneaux, Le Jansénisme en Lorraine, 16401789 (Paris 1960). Matricula religiosorum professorum congregationis sanctorum Vitoni et Hydulphi (new ed. Paris 1963).

[j. choux]