Dee Finney's blog

start date July 20. 2011

Today's date: December 6, 2011

page 76



I was just told about the SHAOLIN Monastery in China and decided I would meditate on it.  So, I astral traveled there and was greeted by two Asian monks.  There was non onversation there, but I could see how peaceful it was.   I had been told they were the fiercest fighters in history and that Bruce Lee had taught about it in his book.

As I was coming out of meditation, I was told, "Monasteries are between grid locks."

i know for a fact that I was a member of a Monastery in Great Britain in a past life with several people I know of, but I have no specifi membory of bieng there in that lifetime.

I feel a need to study this a bit, so please bear with me.  It may prove to be interesting.


Monastery (plural: monasteries) denotes the building, or complex of buildings, that houses a room reserved for prayer (e.g. an oratory) as well as the domestic quarters and workplace(s) of monastics, whether monks or nuns, and whether living in community or alone (hermits).

Monasteries may vary greatly in size – a small dwelling accommodating only a hermit, or in the case of communities anything from a single building housing only a one senior and two or three junior monks or nuns, to vast complexes and estates housing tens or hundreds. A monastery complex typically comprises a number of buildings which include a church, dormitory, cloister, refectory, library, balneary and infirmary. Depending on the location, the monastic order and the occupation of its inhabitants, the complex may also include a wide range of buildings that facilitate self-sufficiency and service to the community. These may include a hospice, a school and a range of agricultural and manufacturing buildings such as a barn, a forge or a brewery.

In English usage, the term "monastery" is generally used to denote the buildings of a community of monks. The name convent tends to be used (inaccurately) for the buildings accommodating female monastics (nuns). It may also be used to reflect the Latin usage for houses of friars, more commonly called a friary, or for communities of teaching or nursing Religious Sisters. Various religions may use these terms in more specific ways.

In most religions the life inside monasteries is governed by community rules that stipulates the sex of the inhabitants and requires them to remain celibate and own little or no personal property. The degree to which life inside a particular monastery is socially separate from the surrounding populace can also vary widely; some religious traditions mandate isolation for purposes of contemplation removed from the everyday world, in which case members of the monastic community may spend most of their time isolated even from each other. Others focus on interacting with the local communities to provide services, such as teaching, medical care, or evangelism. Some monastic communities are only occupied seasonally, depending both on the traditions involved and the local weather, and people may be part of a monastic community for periods ranging from a few days at a time to almost an entire lifetime.

The life within the walls of a monastery may be supported in several ways: by manufacturing and selling goods, often agricultural products, by donations or alms, by rental or investment incomes, and by funds from other organizations within the religion, which in the past formed the traditional support of monasteries. There has been a long tradition of Christian monasteries providing hospitable, charitable and hospital services. Monasteries have always been associated with the provision of education and the encouragement of scholarship and research, which has led to the establishment of schools and colleges and the association with universities. Christian monastic life has adapted to modern society by offering computer services, accounting services and management as well as modern hospital and educational administration





 / 34.50028°N 112.91556°E / 34.50028; 112.91556Coordinates: 34°30′01″N 112°54′56″E


The Shaolin Monastery or Shaolin Temple (Chinese: 少林寺; pinyin: Shàolín Sì; Wade–Giles: Shao-lin Szu; Cantonese Yale: Síulàhm Jih, pronounced [ʂɑ̂ʊ̯lǐn sî]) is a Chán Buddhist temple at Song Shan near Zhengzhou City Henan Province in Dengfeng, China. It is led by Venerable abbot Shi Yǒngxìn. Founded in the 5th century, the monastery is long famous for its association with Chinese martial arts and particularly with Shaolin Kung Fu, and it is the Mahayana Buddhist monastery perhaps best known to the Western world.[1] The Shaolin Monastery and its famed Pagoda Forest were inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2010 as part of the "Historic Monuments of Dengfeng."[2]

The shào () in "Shaolin" refers to "Mount Shaoshi", a mountain in the Songshan mountain range and lín () means "forest". With (), the name literally means "monastery/temple in the woods of Mount Shaoshi". Others, such as the late master Chang Dsu Yao[3] translate "Shaolin" as "young (new) forest" or sometimes "little forest".rly history

The first Shaolin Monastery abbot was Batuo (also called Fotuo or Buddhabhadra, not to be confused with Bodhidharma) a dhyana master who came to China from India in AD 464 to spread Buddhist teachings.[4]

According to the Continued Biographies of Eminent Monks (AD 645) by Dàoxuān, the Shaolin Monastery was built on the north side of Shaoshi, the central peak of Mount Song, one of the Sacred Mountains of China, by Emperor Xiaowen of the Northern Wei Dynasty in AD 477. Yang Xuanzhi, in the Record of the Buddhist Monasteries of Luoyang (AD 547), and Li Xian, in the Ming Yitongzhi (AD 1461), concur with Daoxuan's location and attribution. The Jiaqing Chongxiu Yitongzhi (AD 1843) specifies that this monastery, located in the province of Henan, was built in the 20th year of theTàihé era of the Northern Wei Dynasty, that is, the monastery was built in AD 497.

Kangxi, the second Qing emperor, was a supporter of the Shaolin temple in Henan and he wrote the calligraphic inscriptions that hang over the Heavenly King Hall and the Buddha Hall to this day.[5]


The monastery has been destroyed and rebuilt many times. In 1641 the troops of anti-Ming rebel Li Zicheng sacked the monastery due to the monks' support of the Ming and the possible threat they posed to the rebels. This effectively destroyed the temple's fighting force.[6]

Perhaps the best-known story of the Temple's destruction is that it was destroyed by the Qing government for supposed anti-Qing activities. Variously said to have taken place in 1647 under the Shunzhi Emperor, in 1674 under the Kangxi Emperor, or in 1732 under the Yongzheng Emperor, this destruction is also supposed to have helped spread Shaolin martial arts through China by means of the five fugitive monks. instead of, or in addition to, the temple in Henan: Ju Ke, in the Qing bai lei chao (1917), locates this temple in Fujian Province. These stories commonly appear in legendary or popular accou

While these latter accounts are common among martial artists, and often serve as origin stories for various martial arts styles, their accuracy is questionable. The accounts are known through often inconsistent 19th-century secret society histories and popular literature, and also appear to draw on both Fujianese folklore and popular narratives such as the Water Margin. Modern scholarly attention to the tales is mainly concerned with their role as folklore.

There is evidence of Shaolin martial arts techniques being exported to Japan in the 18th and 19th centuries. Okinawan Shōrin-ryū karate (小林流), for example, has a name meaning "Small [Shao]lin".[9] Other similarities can be seen in centuries-old Chinese and Japanese martial arts manuals.[10]

In 1928, the warlord Shi Yousan set fire to the monastery, burning it for over 40 days, destroying 90 percent of the buildings including many manuscripts of the temple library.[11]

The Cultural Revolution launched in 1966 targeted religious orders including the monastery. The five monks who were present at the monastery when the Red Guard attacked were shackled and made to wear placards declaring the crimes charged against them.[11] The monks were jailed after publicly being flogged and paraded through the street as people threw rubbish at them.[11] The government purged Buddhist materials from within the monastery walls, leaving it barren for years.

Martial arts groups from all over the world have made donations for the upkeep of the temple and grounds, and are subsequently honored with carved stones near the entrance of the temple.

According to Matthew Polly, a travel writer and martial artist, during the Tang Dynasty, Emperor Taizong granted the Shaolin Temple extra land and special "imperial dispensation" to eat meat, and drink, which would make Shaolin the only temple in China that did not prohibit alcohol, although this practice has ceased today.[12] However, Polly's statement is not corroborated in any period documents, such as the Shaolin Stele erected in 728 AD. The stele does not list any such imperial dispensation as reward for the monks' assistance during the campaign against Wang Shichong, only land and a water mill are granted.[13] Historian Meir Shahar is unsure if the popular tale about wine and meat consumption originated after the released of films like Shaolin Temple.[14]

In the past, many people have tried to capitalize on the Shaolin Monastery's fame by building their own schools on Mount Song. However, the Chinese government eventually outlawed this, and so the schools all moved to the nearby towns. However, as of 2010, the Ta Gou kung fu school, one of the largest kung fu schools in China, owns and practices on land below the Shaolin Temple.[15]

A Dharma gathering was held between August 19 and 20, 1999, in the Shaolin Monastery, Songshan, China, for Buddhist Master Shi Yongxin to take office as abbot. In March 2006 Vladimir Putin, then President of Russia, became the first foreign leader to visit the monastery. In 2007 the Chinese government partially lifted the 300-year ban of the Jieba. The Jieba is an ancient ceremony where nine marks are burned onto the head with sticks of incense. The ban was partially lifted only for those who were mentally and physically prepared to participate in the ancient tradition.

Two luxury bathrooms were recently added to the temple for use by monks and tourists. The new bathrooms reportedly cost three million yuan.[16]


1517 stele dedicated to Narayana's defeat of the Red Turban rebels. Guanyin (his original form) can be seen in the clouds above his head.

In his book The Shaolin Monastery (2008), Tel Aviv University Prof. Meir Shahar notes the Bodhisattva Vajrapani is the patron saint of the Shaolin Monastery. A short story appearing in Zhang Zhuo's (660-741) Tang anthology shows how the deity had been venerated in the Monastery from at least the eighth century. It is an anecdotal story of how the Shaolin monk Sengchou (480-560) gained supernatural strength and fighting ability by praying to Vajrapani and being force-fed raw meat.[17] Shaolin abbot Zuduan (1115–1167) erected a stele in his honor during the Song Dynasty.[18] It reads:

According to the scripture [Lotus Sutra], this deity (Narayana) is a manifestation of Avalokitesvara (Guanyin).[19][20] If a person who compassionately nourishes all living beings employs this [deity's] charm, it will increase his body's strength (zengzhang shen li). It fulfills all vows, being most efficacious. ... Therefore those who study Narayana's hand-symbolism (mudra), those who seek his spell (mantra), and those who search for his image are numerous. Thus we have erected this stele to spread this transmission.[21]
— Stele re-erected (chong shang) by Shaolin's abbot Zuduan

Shaolin believes Vajrapani to be an emanation of the Bodhisattva Guanyin, rather than a stand-alone deity. The Chinese scholar A'De noted this was because the Lotus Sutra says Guanyin takes on the visage of whatever being that would best help pervade the dharma. The exact Lotus Sutra passage reads: “To those who can be conveyed to deliverance by the body of the spirit who grasps the vajra (Vajrapani) he preaches Dharma by displaying the body of the spirit who grasps the vajra.”[22]

He was historically worshiped as the progenitor of their famous staff method by the monks themselves. A stele erected by Shaolin abbot Wenzai in 1517 shows the deity's vajra-club had by then been changed to a Chinese staff,[23] which originally "served as the emblem of the monk".[24] Vajrapani's Yaksha-like Narayana form was eventually equated with one of the four staff-wielding "Kimnara Kings" from the Lotus Sutra in 1575. His name was thus changed from Narayana to "Kimnara King".[25] One of the many versions of a certain tale regarding his creation of the staff method takes place during the Yuan Dynasty's Red Turban Rebellion. Bandits lay siege to the monastery, but it is saved by a lowly kitchen worker wielding a long fire poker as a makeshift staff. He leaps into the oven and emerges as a monstrous giant big enough to stand astride both Mount Song and the imperial fort atop Mount Shaoshi (which are five miles apart). The bandits flee when they behold this staff-wielding titan. The Shaolin monks later realize that the kitchen worker was none other than the Kimnara King in disguise.[26] Shahar notes the part of the kitchen worker might have been based on the actual life of the monk Huineng (638-713).[27] In addition, he suggests the mythical elements of the tale were based on the fictional adventures of Sun Wukong from the Chinese epic Journey to the West. He compares the worker's transformation in the stove with Sun's time in Laozi's crucible, their use of the staff, and the fact that Sun and his weapon can both grow to gigantic proportions.[28]

Statues and paintings of Kimnara were commissioned in various halls throughout Shaolin in honor of his defeat of the Red Turban army. A wicker statue woven by the monks and featured in the center of the "Kimnara Hall" was mentioned in Cheng Zongyou's seventeenth century training manual Shaolin Staff Method. However, a century later, it was claimed that Kimnara had himself woven the statue. It was destroyed when the monastery was set aflame by the KMT General Shi Yousan in 1928. A "rejuvenated religious cult" arose around Kimnara in the late twentieth century. Shaolin re-erected the shrine to him in 1984 and improved it in 2004.[29]

The Buddhist monk Bodhidharma is often popularly considered to be the creator of the monastery's arts. An example is provided by Wong Kiew Kit, who writes: "It was during this time that the Venerable Bodhidharma came from India to China to spread Buddhism. In 527 CE he settled down in the Shaolin monastery in Henan province, and inspired the development of Shaolin Kung Fu. This marked a watershed in the history of Kung Fu, because it led to a change of course, as Kung Fu became institutionalized. Before this, martial arts were known only in general sense."[30] Wong cites the "Sinew Metamorphosis" as being a qigong style that the Buddhist saint taught to the monks to strengthen their bodies.[31] All of these claims, however, are generally not supported by martial arts historians because the idea of Bodhidharma influencing Shaolin boxing is based on a forged qigong manual written during the 17th century. This is when a Taoist with the pen name "Purple Coagulation Man of the Way" wrote the Sinews Changing Classic in 1624, but claimed to have discovered it. The first of two prefaces of the manual traces this qigong style's succession from Bodhidharma to the Chinese general Li Jing via "a chain of Buddhist saints and martial heroes."[32] The work itself is full of anachronistic mistakes and even includes a popular character from Chinese fiction, the "Bushy Bearded Hero" (虬髯客), as a lineage master.[33] Literati as far back as the Qing Dynasty have taken note of these mistakes. The scholar Ling Tinkang (1757–1809) described the author as an 'ignorant village master'."[34]

Bodhidharma is traditionally said by Buddhists to have meditated at the temple and the important early Ch'an practitioner Shenhui locates it as the site at which Bodhidharma's disciple Hui-ke cut his own arm off to obtain the ineffable dharma.


Dalai Lama reciting Prajnaparamita mantra from the "Heart sutra"
(the audio contains reciting of the mantra from Dalai Lama's lecture on the Diamond sutra

Tryambakam Mantra chanted by the Dalai Lama. Background natural scenes from popular South Kerala locations and Sivananda Ashram, Neyyar Dam.



Maha Mrityunjaya Mantra








USA Shaolin Temple. Amituofo. Welcome to the Temple.

The USA Shaolin Temple was founded in 1994 by 34th Generation Shaolin Temple Warrior Monk, Shi Yan Ming. The Temple teaches Chan philosophy or Action Meditation, continuing the tradition as founded by Bodhidharma ( Putidamo ) in the year 527. The USA Shaolin Temple is located in New York City and has branches in Austria, Mexico, South Africa, Chile, Trinidad and Tobago and Argentina.

The USA Shaolin Temple teaches Chan Philosophy through the core Shaolin disciplines of martial arts or action meditation: Gongfu (Kung Fu) Taiji Quan (Tai Chi) and Qigong (Chi Kung). Students of all backgrounds, religions, ages, and athletic ability can train at Temple. Students come to the USA Shaolin Temple from all around the world to learn and grow from traditional Shaolin training. "Heart to Heart" and "Mind to Mind" is the essence of Shaolin Chan Philosophy -- and this system of training spans the differences between language and culture as a direct form of growth and understanding. Students find many paths to get to the Temple; while some students seek to build better health and create a feeling of well-being, others may train for self-defense or flexibility, but there is a singular concept behind Shaolin training: martial arts and Chan Philosophy are one and the same.



Sakya Monastery

Sakya Monasterry

Sakya Monastery, also known as dPal Sa skya or Pel Sakya ("White Earth" or "Pale Earth") is a Buddhist monastery situated 25 km southeast of a bridge which is about 127 km west of Shigatse on the road to Tingri in the Tibet Autonomous Region of China.

The seat of the Sakya or Sakyapa school of Tibetan Buddhism, it was founded in 1073, by Konchok Gyelpo (1034-1102), originally a Nyingmapa monk of the powerful noble family of the Tsang and became the first Sakya Trizin. Its powerful abbots governed Tibet during the whole of the 13th century after the downfall of the kings until they were eclipsed by the rise of the new Gelukpa school of Tibetan Buddhism.

Its Mongolian architecture is quite different from that of temples in Lhasa and Yarlung. The only surviving ancient building is the Lhakang Chempo or Sibgon Trulpa. Originally a cave in the mountainside, it was built in 1268 by Ponchen Sakya Sangpo in 1268 and restored in the 16th century. It contains some of the most magnificent surviving artwork in all of Tibet, which appears not to have been damaged in recent times.The Gompa grounds cover more than 18,000 square metres, while the huge main hall covers some 6,000 square metres.[1][2][3]

Most of the buildings of the monastery are in ruins, because they were destroyed during the Cultural Revolution.[4]

Das Sharat Chandra writes:

As to the great library of Sakya, it is on shelves along the walls of the great hall of the Lhakhang chen-po. There are preserved here many volumes written in gold letters; the pages are six feet long by eighteen inches in breadth. In the margin of each page are illuminations, and the first four volumes have in them pictures of the thousand Buddhas. These books are bound in iron. They were prepared under orders of the Emperor Kublai Khan, and presented to the Phagpa lama on his second visit to Beijing.

There is also preserved in this temple a conch shell with whorls turning from left to right [in Tibetan, Ya chyü dungkar ; and in Chinese Yu hsuan pai-lei], a present from Kublai to Phagpa. It is only blown by the lamas when the request is accompanied by a present of seven ounces of silver; but to blow it, or have it blown, is held to be an act of great merit."[5]

A huge library of as many as 84,000 scrolls were found sealed up in a wall 60 metres long and 10 metres high at Sakya (Ch: Sagya) Monastery in 2003. It is expected that most of them will prove to be Buddhist scriptures although they may well also include works of literature, and on history, philosophy, astronomy, mathematics and art. They are thought to have remained untouched for hundreds of years. They are being examined by the Tibetan Academy of Social Sciences.[6]

Monastery in India

The current Sakya Trizin, throne holder of the Sakyapa went into exile in India in 1959 and he is now living in Dehra Dun. Like all leaders of the Sakya school, he is married. He has two sons, and the younger one, Dungsey Gyana Vajra, born 5 July 1979 in Dehra Dun, is director of the Sakya Monastery constructed in India.[7]



Belur Math - The Monastery A Wisdom Archive on Belur Math - The Monastery< Belur Math - The Monastery

Belur Math is a religious abbey located in the neighbourhood of Belur in the city of Howrah, West Bengal, India. It is the location of the Ramakrishna Temple, as well as many other temples, and is the headquarters of the related organisations the Ramakrishna Math and the Ramakrishna Mission. Belur Math is located almost just across the Hooghly River near Dakshineswar

After the passing away of their Master Sri Ramakrishna in 1886 the young disciples organized themselves into a new monastic order. The original monastery at Baranagar was shifted in January 1899 to a newly acquired plot of land at Belur in Howrah district. This monastery, known as Belur Math, serves as the Mother House for all the monks of Ramakrishna Order who live in the various branch centres of Ramakrishna Math and/or Ramakrishna Mission ..

see the beautiful places to study Vedic Math:;_ylt=A0oGdSBRiN5OAy8Av_5XNyoA?p=MATHS%20%2CMONASTERY%20OnDIA&fr2=piv-web

this is the Monastery pictured at the top of the page

The land is the home of Nilov Monastery, which was founded by Saint Nilus in 1594, and previously welcomed up to 40,000 pilgrims each year. Most of the buildings of the monastery were built in the 18th and 19th Centuries in a neoclassical style. Today the monastery complex remains one of the most impressive ensembles of Neoclassical architecture in Eastern Europe. Some of its churches date back to the 17th century. A graceful embankment was completed by 1812, and a large cathedral was built in 1821-25. The construction of the causeway to the island was completed in 1812. The Nilow Monastery was one of the largest and wealthiest monasteries in the Russian Empire.Origin of name

Nil Stolobensky painting, 1771

Regarding the name of the island - "Stolobny" - there are two versions. At first, it got its name because of its shape, like a pole, and the second, is that there was an ancient pagan temple that included a sacrificial post. In 1515 the Rev. Nil (Neil in English) Krypetsky worked as a lumberjack. He lived alone, ate grass and acorns, all the time spent in prayer. According to legend, one day robbers went to Rev. Nil, and decided to kill him. However, he prayed silently, went out to them with an icon of the Blessed Virgin. The robbers, dreaming that the Rev. was defended by many armed men, fell at his feet, repented and begged forgiveness.

Gradually the fame of the hermit spread through the local villages. People began coming to him, asking prayers and teachings. In 1528, tired of all the attention, he moved to a new location - the island of Stolobny at Lake Seliger, near Ostashkov. The first year he lived in a dugout, then built a hut and a chapel for prayers. According to legend, the devil repeatedly sent different calamities against the hermit - fires, even robbers tried to throw his cell in the lake. However, Rev. Nil was adamant, overcoming all attacks by prayer and faith.

Rev. Nil lived on the island a total of 27 years before his death, and he bequeathed to build a monastery on this site, which was later made. Nil died in 1555 and was buried on Stolobny. In 1594, with the permission of the Patriarch Job, a monastic cloister opened on the island. Thus began the history of monastery Nilo - Stolobensky. The founder of the monastery was a monk Herman.

[edit] History

In 1919, after the October Revolution, the monastery was confiscated. It was closed in 1927 by the Soviet government and subsequently used for various purposes. From 1927 to 1939 there was a work camp for underage criminals.

In the period 1939 to 1941, during the first years of World War II, the monastery was a prisoner of war camp of the Russian secret service NKVD, which held approximately 7,000 Polish prisoners of war who had been taken captive by the Soviet Union as a result of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact. Almost all of the prisoners were subsequently executed in April 1940 in Kalinin (now Tver) and then buried in mass graves in Mednoye, an act which became known as the Katyn Massacre. Amongst those killed were Polish officers, lawyers, policemen, teachers, doctors, and other members of the intelligentsia.

From 1941 to 1945 was in the building complex to a hospital, and again from 1945 to 1960 a camp for minors and orphans. 1960 to 1971 the monastery was used as a retirement home, and from 1971 to 1990 a hostel for tourists.

[edit] Current status

View from the bell tower

After 1990, the complex was given back of the Russian Orthodox Church, and in 1995 it opened again as a functioning monastery, which it still is today.

 Cistercian abbeys in Britain

This is a List of Cistercian monasteries (called abbeys) in Great Britain. The first Cistercian abbey in Great Britain was Waverley Abbey in Surrey, founded in 1128. In the next few years further abbeys were founded in other parts of Britain, notably Yorkshire and in Scotland and Wales.


[edit] Currently active abbeys

[edit] Abbeys, now dissolved, ruined or destroyed

Given in brackets are the date of foundation and which house the Abbey is a filiation of.


St Augustine's Abbey, Ramsgate is one of four Benedictine monasteries in Great Britain forming the English Province of the international Benedictine Congregation of Subiaco. The Abbey was founded as a result of the invitation made by Bishop Thomas Grant, the first Bishop of Southwark, to the Italian abbot Dom Pietro Casaretto, to send monks from St Benedict's own monastery at Subiaco to undertake a mission at Ramsgate. By 1856 arrangements between Bishop Grant and Abbot Casaretto were concluded and the first monk, Dom Wilfrid Alcock, arrived to take charge at the Ramsgate mission which had been made possible thanks to the building of a Gothic church by the famous Gothic Revivalist architect Augustus Welby Pugin, which was donated to the Diocese of Southwark before his premature death in 1852










 Benedictine Monks

The Brothers of Saint John the Evangelist (OSB)

So that in all things, God may be glorified.
Rule of St. Benedict, Chapter 57

Now making their Church home at St. Augustine’s in-the-Woods, the Brothers of Saint John the Evangelist (OSB), originally known as the Ecumenical Fellowship of Saint John, were founded in the Spring of 1972 by five men — clergy and lay — from the Episcopal, Lutheran and Roman Catholic communions of the Church. All five, friends and frequent visitors in each other’s churches, expressed interest in the vocation to the religious life and in pursuing the goal of establishing an ecumenical religious community and monastery. Fr. Alden Franklin, an Episcopal priest since 1955, served as religious advisor, helping formulate an early Statement of Purpose. He has also been Celebrant at several Patronal Eucharists.

The first celebration of Saint John’s Day was December 27, 1972, at Village Church of Westwood (Lutheran) in Los Angeles. On Saint John’s Day, 1973, four of the founding group, two Lutherans and two Roman Catholics, committed their lives and made their Promises of Commitment at Saint John’s Episcopal Church, Los Angeles.


List of Benedictine monasteries in France

This is a list of Benedictine monasteries, extant and non-extant, in the present territory of France. It includes both monks and nuns following the Rule of St. Benedict, excluding the Cistercians, for whom see List of Cistercian monasteries in France. Some monasteries however belonged at various times in their histories to both the Benedictines and the Cistercians.

At different times these religious houses have formed various orders, congregations or groups, of which the main ones, as far as French monasteries are concerned, are the following:

The dates in brackets indicate the start and end dates of an abbey's status as a Benedictine monastery, which are not necessarily the same as the dates of its foundation or suppression. All religious houses in France were suppressed during the French Revolution, most of them in 1791. Some communities were revived, and many more new ones established, during the 19th century, but were forced to leave France by anti-clerical legislation during the 1880s (principally the Ferry Laws), and again in the first decades of the 20th century under the Association Law of 1901 (the Waldeck-Roblet Law).

Abbeys and independent priories currently in operation are indicated by bold type.

Dependent priories are not generally noted in this list, except for a few unusually si


Saint-Germain d'Auxerre

[edit] B

Brantôme Abbey (Dordogne)
Baume Abbey (Jura)
Bec Abbey (Eure)
St. Cross Abbey, Bordeaux (Gironde)

[edit] C

La Chaise-Dieu Abbey (Haute-Loire)
Cluny Abbey (reconstruction)
Conques Abbey (Aveyron)
Corbie Abbey (Somme)

[edit] D

[edit] E

[edit] F

Fécamp Abbey (Seine-Maritime)

[edit] G

Gaillac Abbey
Gigny Abbey (Jura)

[edit] H

Hambye Abbey (Manche)

[edit] I

[edit] J

Jumièges Abbey (Seine-Maritime)

[edit] K

[edit] L

Landévennec Abbey (Finistère)

[edit] M

Marmoutier Abbey (Indre-et-Loire)
Moissac Abbey
Meymac Abbey (Corrèze
Mont Saint-Michel Abbey
Murbach Abbey

[edit] N

Nouaillé-Maupertuis Abbey (Vienne)

[edit] O

[edit] P

Preuilly Abbey (Indre-et-Loire)

[edit] Q

[edit] R

[edit] S

Saint-Sauveur-le-Vicomte Abbey (Manche)
Saint-Savin Abbey (Vienne)
Saint-Sever Abbey (Landes)
Abbaye aux Dames, Saintes (Charente-Maritime)

[edit] T

[edit] U

  • Abbey of St. Scholastica, Urt (Abbaye de Saint-Scholastique d'Urt), nuns (Urt, Pyrénées-Atlantiques)
  • Uzerche Abbey (Abbaye Saint-Pierre d'Uzerche), monks, Diocese of Limoges (Uzerche, Corrèze)

[edit] V

[edit] W

[edit] Y

  • Yerres Abbey (Abbaye Notre-Dame d'Yerres), nuns, Diocese of Paris (?-1792) (Yerres, Essonne)
  • Yzeure Abbey (Abbaye d'Yzeure), nuns (Yzeure, Allier)

[edit] Notes

  1. ^ The English Congregation returned to England because of the French Revolution and now forms part of the Benedictine Confederation
  2. ^ Ainay Abbey website
  3. ^ the precursor of Alet Cathedral)
  4. ^ Website of the Cultural Encounter Centre, Ambronay
  5. ^ formerly sometimes Andlaw
  6. ^ Diocese of Séez website: Argentan Abbey
  7. ^ Asnières Abbey website
  8. ^ Ministère de la Culture: L'Abbaye Saint-Germain d'Auxerre
  9. ^ Le Barroux Abbey website
  10. ^ Bassac Abbey website
  11. ^ Bec Abbey website
  12. ^ Bellaigue Abbey website
  13. ^ 950-1136: Benedictine priory; 1136-37: Benedictine abbey; 1137-1791: Cistercian abbey; 2000- Benedictine abbey)
  14. ^ Belloc Abbey website
  15. ^ Blesle municipal website: Blesle Abbey
  16. ^ formerly Saint-Martin-au-Val
  17. ^ Gallic Orthodox Church website: Bois-Aubry Abbey
  18. ^ Boscherville Abbey website
  19. ^ Encyclopédie de Bourges website: St. Sulpicius' Abbey, Bourges
  20. ^ Bourgueil Abbey website
  21. ^ see also Kerbeneat; Filles du Calvaire, Calvairiennes or Benedictines of Our Lady of Calvary; see also Kerbénéat
  22. ^ a b English Benedictine nuns in exile
  23. ^ La Chaise-Dieu Abbey website
  24. ^ Chantelle Abbey website
  25. ^ Château-Chalon village website
  26. ^ Clairval Abbey website
  27. ^ Crespin municipal website: Crespin Abbey
  28. ^ Cuxa Abbey website
  29. ^ En-Calcat Abbey website
  30. ^ Fleury Abbey website
  31. ^ Fontdouce Abbey website
  32. ^ raised to a bishopric in 1742: see Diocese of Saint-Claude
  33. ^ Friends of Guîtres Abbey website
  34. ^ Camaldolese from 1680
  35. ^ Abbey website
  36. ^ Daughters of Calvary (Filles du Calvaire); moved here from Landereau, and transferred to Bouzy-la-Forêt
  37. ^ sometimes La Grasse Abbey
  38. ^ St. Vincent's Abbey website
  39. ^ At first a Benedictine priory, later a house of secular canonesses from the Auvergnat nobility. Raised to the status of abbey in 1719
  40. ^ Diocese of Coutances website: Lessay Abbey
  41. ^ Ligugé Abbey website
  42. ^ secularised in 1535
  43. ^ Abbey of St. Peter, Le Mans: website
  44. ^ Marmoutier Abbey website
  45. ^ a b Saint-Jouin-de-Marnes website
  46. ^ Maumont Abbey website
  47. ^ Maylis Abbey website
  48. ^ Mont Saint-Michel Abbey website
  49. ^ Montceau Abbey website
  50. ^ Commune of Nouaillé-Maupertuis website: Nouaillé Abbey
  51. ^ DIocese of Pamiers website: Le Pesquié Abbey
  52. ^ Pontlevoy Abbey website
  53. ^ Preuilly-sur-Claise municipal website: Preuilly Abbey
  54. ^ Randol Abbey website
  55. ^ joined to the Sainte-Chapelle in Paris in 1641
  56. ^ joined to the Archbishopric of Reims in 1696
  57. ^ Benedictines of the Holy Sacrament; nunnery founded in 1862
  58. ^ Saint-Amant-de-Boixe Abbey website
  59. ^ often inaccurately called Saint-André de Sorède
  60. ^ Diocese of Poitiers website: St. Cross Abbey, Saint-Benoît
  61. ^ Saint-Jacut Abbey website
  62. ^ Abbey of St. Lioba website
  63. ^ later secular canonesses
  64. ^ Saint-Michel-en-Thiérache Abbey website
  65. ^ Saint-Omer town website: Abbey of St. Bertin, Saint-Omer
  66. ^ or Generest, Génerez, Générez, Géneres, or Génerès
  67. ^ united with the bishopric in 1778
  68. ^ Saint-Savin-sur-Gartempe Abbey website
  69. ^ Site de l'Abbaye aux Dames de Saintes
  70. ^ raised to a bishopric in 1318
  71. ^ Solesmes Abbey website
  72. ^ Sorèze Abbey and School website
  73. ^ mother house of the Tironensian Order
  74. ^ Benedictine from 850 to 1073
  75. ^ Tournay Abbey website
  76. ^ Val-de-Grâce webpage
  77. ^ Valognes Abbey website
  78. ^ the original buildings became a hospital, which they remain; the abbey was re-established in 1810 in the former convent of the Capuchins, which was vacant by then
  79. ^ Venière Abbey website
  80. ^ Verneuil Abbey website
  81. ^ Website of the Abbey of St. Paul Abbey, Wisques

[edit] See also

[edit] References

  • Gallia Christiana
  • Gaussin, Pierre-Roger, nd: Les cohortes du Christ, Ouest-France
  • Gazeau, Véronique, 2007: Normannia monastica, princes normands et abbés bénédictins. Prosopograpie des abbés bénédictins (2 vols). Publications du CRAHM. ISBN 978-2-902685-38-7
  • Laffont, Robert, nd: Dictionnaire des églises de France, Belgique, Luxembourg, Suisse (Tome II-B)
  • Le Bras, G., Hourlier, J., Cocheril, M., 1979: Les ordres religieux, la vie et l'art. Tome 1: Monastères et communautés ; Les Bénédictins ; Les Cisterciens ; Les Chartreux ; Les ordres militaires. Flammarion: Paris. ISBN 2-08-010028-9
  • Schmitz, Philibert, 1942


some other interesting pages about the Benedictines paraticularly since our current Pope is a Benedictine:



  1. Opposing them are the Jesuits, whose once-secretive organization formed the model for Opus Dei, but who ... - Cached
  2. Chronology 1641 Jesuits first encounter the Lakota -- in Minnesota near Lake Superior 1750 By this year, the Lakota have moved into the Great Plains. - Cached
  3. "The Jesuits laugh at us; and during their hilarity, the rattlesnake is coiled at our feet, climbing to strike us in the heart." - Cached
  4. CHRIST in BRITAIN ----- The study of Jesus in Britain touches on the Royal family, the establishment of the Church, Paul's visit to Britain, and even the ... - Cached
  5. We will add to it as we hear from you who have been attacked by Opus Dei and the Jesuits. Tell pastors and church leaders about this exposé. Copy it and ... - Cached
  6. updated 11-12-99. DREAMS AND VISIONS OF JESUS - HIS SECOND COMING. 2-25-89 - Dream: T.M. showed me his writing in a little notebook of a vision which he had about ... - Cached
  7. Wade Supreme Court decision influenced by the Jesuits at Georgetown University for the further annihilation of White Angol Saxon Protestant and ... - Cached
  8. updated 8-2-10. please be patient while this page loads. if you are looking for information on a particular tribe and you don't see it here, e-mail and ... - Cached
  9. Ignatius counselled his Jesuits (technically neither monks nor friars, but priests regular) to proceed with charity and moderation ... - Cached
  10. ... , Vatican/Jesuits, Federal Reserve Bank/Alan Greenspan, AIG/Starr International/Maurice Greenberg, Citibank/David Rockefeller , Carlyle ... - Cached

DOMINICANS  (located in Rome, italy




The Order of Preachers (Latin: Ordo Praedicatorum), after the 15th century more commonly known as the Dominican Order or Dominicans, is a Catholic religious order founded by Saint Dominic and approved by Pope Honorius III (1216–27) on 22 December 1216 in France. Membership in the Order includes friars,[1] nuns, congregations of active sisters, and lay persons affiliated with the order (formerly known as tertiaries, now Lay or Secular Dominicans).

A number of other names have been used to refer to both the order and its members.

Members of the order generally carry the letters O.P. standing for Ordinis Praedicatorum, meaning of the Order of Preachers, after their names.

Founded to preach the Gospel and to combat heresy, the order is famed for its intellectual tradition, having produced many leading theologians and philosophers. The Dominican Order is headed by the Master of the Order, who is currently Father Bruno Cadoré.

Like his contemporary, Francis of Assisi, Dominic saw the need for a new type of organization, and the quick growth of the Dominicans and Franciscans during their first century of existence confirms that the orders of mendicant friars met a need.[6]

He had accompanied as canon Diego de Acebo, Bishop of Osma on a diplomatic mission to Denmark, to arrange the marriage between the son of King Alfonso VIII of Castile and a niece of King Valdemar II of Denmark.[7] At that time the south of France was the stronghold of the Cathar or Albigensian heresy, named after the Duke of Albi, a Cathar sympathiser and opponent to the subsequent Albigensian Crusade (1209–1229).

This gnostic doctrine held that matter was evil and only spirit was good, a fundamental challenge to the notion of incarnation, central to Roman Catholic theology. The Albigensians, more commonly known as the Cathars (a heretical gnostic sect), lived very simply and saw themselves as more fervent followers of the poor Christ. Dominic saw the need for a response that would attempt to sway members of the Albigensian movement back to mainstream Christian thought. The mendicant preacher emerged from this insight. Dominic's desire of winning the Albigensians over by persuasion did not succeed, and the Occitan area was devastated in the Albigensian crusade.

Dominic became the spiritual father to several Albigensian women he had reconciled to the faith, and in 1206 he established them in a convent in Prouille.[7] This convent would become the foundation of the Dominican nuns, thus making the Dominican nuns older than the Dominican friars.

Dominic sought to establish a new kind of order, one that would bring the dedication and systematic education of the older monastic orders like the Benedictines to bear on the religious problems of the burgeoning population of cities, but with more organizational flexibility than either monastic orders or the secular clergy. Dominic's new order was to be a preaching order, trained to preach in the vernacular languages. Rather than earning their living on vast farms as the monasteries had done, the new friars would survive by begging, "selling" themselves through persuasive preaching.

Saint Dominic established a religious community in Toulouse in 1214, to be governed by the rule of St. Augustine[8] and statutes to govern the life of the friars, including the Primitive Constitution.[9] (The statutes borrowed somewhat from the Constitutions of Prémontré.[10]) The founding documents establish that the Order was founded for two purposes: preaching and the salvation of souls. The organization of the Order of Preachers was approved in December 1216 by Pope Honorius III (see also Religiosam vitam; Nos attendentes).

The Order's origins in battling heterodoxy influenced its later development and reputation. Many later Dominicans battled heresy as part of their apostolate. Indeed, many years after St. Dominic reacted to the Cathars, the first Grand Inquistor of Spain, Tomás de Torquemada, would be drawn from the Dominican order.


The Dominican friars quickly spread, including to England, where they appeared in Oxford in 1221.[11] In the 13th century the order reached all classes of Christian society, fought heresy, schism, and paganism by word and book, and by its missions to the north of Europe, to Africa, and Asia passed beyond the frontiers of Christendom. Its schools spread throughout the entire Church; its doctors wrote monumental works in all branches of knowledge, including the extremely important Albertus Magnus and Thomas Aquinas. Its members included popes, cardinals, bishops, legates, inquisitors, confessors of princes, ambassadors, and paciarii (enforcers of the peace decreed by popes or councils). The order was appointed by Pope Gregory IX to carry out the Inquisition.[citation needed] In his Papal Bull Ad_exstirpanda of 1252, Pope Innocent IV authorised the Dominicans' use of torture under prescribed circumstances.

The expansion of the Order produced changes. A smaller emphasis on doctrinal activity favoured the development here and there of the ascetic and contemplative life and there sprang up, especially in Germany and Italy, the mystical movement with which the names of Meister Eckhart, Heinrich Suso, Johannes Tauler, and St. Catherine of Siena are associated. (See German mysticism, which has also been called "Dominican mysticism.") This movement was the prelude to the reforms undertaken, at the end of the century, by Raymond of Capua, and continued in the following century. It assumed remarkable proportions in the congregations of Lombardy and the Netherlands, and in the reforms of Savonarola at Florence.

At the same time the Order found itself face to face with the Renaissance. It struggled against pagan tendencies in Renaissance humanism, in Italy through Dominici and Savonarola, in Germany through the theologians of Cologne but it also furnished humanism with such advanced writers as Francesco Colonna (probably the writer of the Hypnerotomachia Poliphili) and Matteo Bandello. Many Dominicans took part in the artistic activity of the age, the most prominent being Fra Angelico and Fra Bartolomeo.

[edit] Reformation to French Revolution

Bartolomé de Las Casas, as a settler in the New World, was galvanized by witnessing the brutal torture and genocide of the Native Americans by the Spanish colonists. He became famous for his advocacy of the rights of Native Americans, whose cultures, especially in the Caribbean, he describes with care.

Gaspar da Cruz (c. 1520 – 1570), who worked all over the Portuguese colonial empire in Asia, was probably the first Christian missionary to preach (unsuccessfully) in Cambodia. After a (similarly unsuccessful) stint in Guangzhou, China, he eventually returned to Portugal and became the first European to publish a book on China in 1569/1570.[12]

The modern period consists of the three centuries between the religious revolution at the beginning of the 16th century (the Protestant Reformation) and the French Revolution and its consequences. The beginning of the 16th century confronted the order with the upheavals of Revolution. The spread of Protestantism cost it six or seven provinces and several hundreds of convents, but the discovery of the New World opened up a fresh field of activity.[citation needed]

In the 18th century, there were numerous attempts at reform, accompanied by a reduction in the number of devotees. The French Revolution ruined the order in France, and crises that more or less rapidly followed considerably lessened or wholly destroyed numerous provinces.

[edit] 19th century to present

The contemporary period of the history of the Preachers begins with restorations in provinces, undertaken after revolutions destroyed the Order in several countries of the Old and New World. This period begins more or less in the early 19th century.

During this critical period, the number of Preachers seems never to have sunk below 3,500. Statistics for 1876 show 3,748, but 500 of these had been expelled from their convents and were engaged in parochial work. Statistics for 1910 show a total of 4,472 nominally or actually engaged in proper activities of the Order. In the year 2000, there were 5,171 Dominican friars in solemn vows, 917 student brothers, and 237 novices.[13] By the year 2010 there were 5,906 Dominican friars, including 4,456 priests.[14] Their provinces cover the world,[15] and include four provinces in the United States.]

the revival movement France held a foremost place, owing to the reputation and convincing power of the orator, Jean-Baptiste Henri Lacordaire (1802–1861). He took the habit of a Friar Preacher at Rome (1839), and the province of France was canonically erected in 1850. From this province were detached the province of Lyon, called Occitania (1862), that of Toulouse (1869), and that of Canada (1909). The French restoration likewise furnished many laborers to other provinces, to assist in their organization and progress. From it came the master general who remained longest at the head of the administration during the 19th century, Père Vincent Jandel (1850–1872). Here should be mentioned the province of St. Joseph in the United States. Founded in 1805 by Father Edward Fenwick, afterwards first Bishop of Cincinnati, Ohio (1821–1832), this province has developed slowly, but now ranks among the most flourishing and active provinces of the order. In 1910 it numbered seventeen convents or secondary houses. In 1905, it established a large house of studies at Washington, D.C., called the Dominican House of Studies. There are now four Dominican provinces in the United States.

The province of France has produced a large number of preachers. The conferences of Notre-Dame-de-Paris were inaugurated by Père Lacordaire. The Dominicans of the province of France furnished Lacordaire (1835–1836, 1843–1851), Jacques Monsabré (1869–1870, 1872–1890), Joseph Ollivier (1871, 1897), Thomas Etourneau (1898–1902).[citation needed] Since 1903 the pulpit of Notre Dame has been occupied by a succession of Dominicans. Père Henri Didon (d. 1900) was a Dominican. The house of studies of the province of France publishes L'Année Dominicaine (founded 1859), La Revue des Sciences Philosophiques et Theologiques (1907), and La Revue de la Jeunesse (1909).

French Dominicans founded and administer the École Biblique et Archéologique française de Jérusalem founded in 1890 by Père Marie-Joseph Lagrange O.P. (1855–1938), one of the leading international centres for Biblical research. It is at the École Biblique that the famed Jerusalem Bible (both editions) was prepared.

Likewise Yves Cardinal Congar, O.P. was a product of the French province of the Order of Preachers.

Dominican in habit

Doctrinal development has had an important place in the restoration of the Preachers. Several institutions, besides those already mentioned, played important parts. Such is the Biblical school at Jerusalem, open to the religious of the Order and to secular clerics, which publishes the Revue Biblique. The faculty of theology at the University of Fribourg, confided to the care of the Dominicans in 1890, is flourishing, and has about 250 students. The Collegium Angelicum, established at Rome (1911) by Master Hyacinth Cormier, is open to regulars and seculars for the study of the sacred sciences. In addition to the reviews above are the Revue Thomiste, founded by Père Thomas Coconnier (d. 1908), and the Analecta Ordinis Prædicatorum (1893). Among numerous writers of the order in this period are: Cardinals Thomas Zigliara (d. 1893) and Zephirin González (d. 1894), two esteemed philosophers; Father Alberto Guillelmotti (d. 1893), historian of the Pontifical Navy, and Father Heinrich Denifle, one of the most famous writers on medieval history (d. 1905).[

citation needed]

[edit] Divisions


The Dominican nuns were founded by St. Dominic even before he had established the friars. They are contemplatives in the cloistered life. The Friars and Nuns together form the Order of Preachers properly speaking. The nuns celebrated their 800th anniversary in 2006.[16]

[edit] Sisters

Dominican sisters carry on a number of apostolates. They are distinct from the nuns. The sisters are a way of living the vocation of a Third Order Dominican.

As well as the friars, Dominican sisters live their lives supported by four common values, often referred to as the Four Pillars of Dominican Life, they are: community life, common prayer, study and service. St. Dominic called this fourfold pattern of life the "holy preaching."Henri Matisse was so moved by the care that he received from the Dominican Sisters that he collaborated in the design and interior decoration of their Chapelle du Saint-Marie du Rosaire in Vence, France.

[edit] Laity







NOTE:  There a Greek Orthodox Monasteries iin the U.S as well.

The Metéora (Greek: Μετέωρα, "suspended rocks", "suspended in the air" or "in the heavens above" - etymologically similar to "Meteorite") is one of the largest and most important complexes of Eastern Orthodox monasteries in Greece, second only to Mount Athos.[1] The six monasteries are built on natural sandstone rock pillars, at the northwestern edge of the Plain of Thessaly near the Pineios river and Pindus Mountains, in central Greece. The nearest town is Kalambaka. The Metéora is included on the UNESCO World Heritage List under criteria[2] I, II, IV, V and VII.[

The Theopetra caves 5 kilometres (3.1 mi) south of Meteora had inhabitants fifty millennia ago. The cave of Theopetra, Kalambaka, radiocarbon evidence for 50,000 years of human presence, Radiocarbon 43(2B): 1029-1048.[citation needed][clarification needed]

In the 9th century, an ascetic group of hermit monks moved up to the ancient pinnacles.

They were the first people to inhabit Metéora. They lived in hollows and fissures in the rock towers, some of which reach 1800 ft (550m) above the plain. This great height, combined with the sheerness of the cliff walls, kept away all but the most determined visitors. Initially the hermits led a life of solitude, meeting only on Sundays and special days to worship and pray in a chapel built at the foot of a rock known as Dhoupiani. As early as the 11th century AD hermit monks were believed to be living among the caves and cutouts in the rocks.

The exact date of the establishment of the monasteries is unknown. By the late 11th and early 12th century, a rudimentary monastic state had formed called the Skete of Stagoi and was centered around the still-standing church of Theotokos (mother of God).[1] By the end of the 12th century, an ascetic community had flocked to Metéora.

In 1344, Athanasios Koinovitis from Mount Athos brought a group of followers to Metéora. From 1356 to 1372, he founded the great Meteoron monastery on Broad Rock, which were perfect for the monks; they were safe from political upheaval and had complete control of the entry to the monastery. The only means of reaching it was by climbing a long ladder, which was drawn up whenever the monks felt threatened.

At the end of the 14th century, the Byzantine Empire's 800-year reign over northern Greece was being increasingly threatened by Turkish raiders who wanted control over the fertile plain of Thessaly. The hermit monks, seeking a retreat from the expanding Turkish occupation, found the inaccessible rock pillars of Meteora to be an ideal refuge. More than 20 monasteries were built, beginning in the 14th century.[1] Six remain today. There is a common belief that St. Athanasius (founder of the first monastery) did not scale the rock, but was carried there by an eagle.[4]

In 1517, Nectarios and Theophanes built the monastery of Varlaám, which was reputed to house the finger of St John and the shoulder blade of St Andrew.

Access to the monasteries was originally (and deliberately) difficult, requiring either long ladders lashed together or large nets used to haul up both goods and people. This required quite a leap of faith – the ropes were replaced, so the story goes, only "when the Lord let them break".[5] In the words of UNESCO, "The net in which intrepid pilgrims were hoisted up vertically alongside the 373 metres (1,224 ft) cliff where the Varlaam monastery dominates the valley symbolizes the fragility of a traditional way of life that is threatened with extinction."[6] In the 1920s there was an improvement in the arrangements. Steps were cut into the rock, making the complex accessible via a bridge from the nearby plateau. During World War II the site was bombed and many art treasures were stolen.

Until the 17th century, the primary means of conveying goods and people from these eyries was by means of baskets and ropes.[7]

Only six of the monasteries remain today.[6] Of these six, four were inhabited by men, and two by women. Each monastery has fewer than 10 inhabitants. The monasteries are now tourist attractions.




This is a sample of Greek Orthodox Byzantine music chanted by nuns in a Monastery of northern Greek Mainland (Hsuxastirio Timiou Prodromou Akritoxoriou Sidirokastrou Serron). The Hymn is an extract from a book called "Theotokario" and it is dedicated to the Most Holy Mother of God (Theotokos, Virgin Mary). It is usually chanted in Greek monasteries during the afternoon (after Vespers). The pictures of the video come from a different monastery of Northern Greece (Giannitsa/Pella, Iera Moni Agiou Georgiou Anudrou


Chant of the Templars - Da Pacem Domine

the mass - knights templars