Glanfeuil Abbey

  (Redirected from Maurus of Glanfeuil)

The Abbey of St. Maurus, better known as Glanfeuil Abbey (French: Abbaye de Glanfeuil, Abbaye Saint-Maur de Glanfeuil, Abbaye de Saint-Maur-sur-Loire[a]) was a French Benedictine monastery in the village of Saint-Maur-sur-Loire, located in what is now the commune of Le Thoureil, Maine-et-Loire, which dated back to the 9th century. It was dissolved in 1908.

Traditional accountEdit

According to the legendary account attributed to Faustus, a student of St. Benedict, Innocentius, Bishop of Mans, sent his vicar, Adenard, to Monte Cassino to ask St. Benedict to send some monks to Gaul. Benedict dispatched twelve monks, including St. Maurus and Faustus. Maurus then established Glanfeuil Abbey, thus making it the original Benedictine foundation in Gaul. The story is based in part on the account of St. Maurus in Gregory the Great's Dialogues. The modern common view is that while St. Maurus was a historical person,[1] the Vita of Faustus is a fabrication by Abbot Odo from around 868.


There are no reliable records regarding the initial founding of Glanfeuil Abbey. Excavations at the end of the nineteenth century disclosed a possible Merovingian monastery built on the ruins of a Roman villa. The first mention of Glanfeuil is around the middle of the eighth century when it was in the possession of Gaidulf of Ravenna, who depleted its resources until the monastery itself was little more than a ruin.[2]

By about 830, the abandoned monastery had come into the possession of Rorgon I, Count of Maine, possibly through his wife, Bilichilde. Together, they undertook to restore the abbey. Abbot Ingelbert of Saint-Pierre-des-Fossés sent some monks, including the count's brother, Gausbert.

In 835 Ebroin's cousin, Count Rorgon petitioned King Pippin of Aquitaine for the monastery of Glanfeuil on behalf of his relative Ebroin. Glanfeuil had been placed under the authority of another relative of Ebroin's, Abbot Ingelbert of Saint-Pierre-des-Fossés, by the Emperor Louis the Pious in 833. Ebroin became Bishop of Poitiers, and in 844 bestowed the office of abbot on Gausbert's son Gauslin.[2] On 14 July 847 Charles confirmed Ebroin's right of possession of the abbey, apparently without oversight from Fossés, and its heritability in his family.[3] It was during the tenure of Abbot Gauslin that, around 845, the supposed remains of Saint Maurus were discovered.

In 862, under threat of Norman attacks, Abbot Odo and the monks left Glanfeuil, taking the relics of St. Maurus with them. They eventually wound up at Saint-Pierre-des-Fossés, where Odo was chosen to succeed the recently deceased Abbot Geoffrey. "He pretended to have discovered at the time of the evacuation of Glanfeuil, a Life of Saint Maur, written by St. Maur's companion Faustus, another pupil of St. Benedict."[2]

The original monastery was rebuilt and flourished. It was suppressed in 1790 in the wake of the French Revolution. Eventually it was refounded in the surviving structures in 1890, by Louis-Charles Couturier, O.S.B., the Abbot of Solesmes Abbey, as part of his program of revival of monasticism in post-revolutionary France.[4]

In 1901, however, the monks were compelled to leave France due to the anti-clerical laws of the Third French Republic. After finding refuge in Baronville, Belgium (now part of the municipality of Beauraing), the monks began to search for a permanent home. After various inquires failed, they finally settled upon Clervaux, Luxembourg. In 1908, a vote was taken by the monastic chapter, which made the decision to dissolve the existing monastery, and to found a new monastery there, dedicated to St. Maurice.[5]


  1. ^ not to be confused with the Abbey of Saint-Maur-des-Fossés


  1. ^ Roman Martyrology: "Saint Maurus, Abbot" - Martyrologium Romanum (Libreria Editrice Vaticana 2001 ISBN 88-209-7210-7), on 15 January
  2. ^ a b c Bloch, Herbert. Monte Cassino in the Middle Ages, Harvard University Press, 1988 ISBN 9780674586550
  3. ^ Wood, Susan. The Proprietary Church in the Medieval West. (2006) Oxford: Oxford University Press, p. 343
  4. ^ Ott, Michael. "Louis-Charles Couturier." The Catholic Encyclopedia Vol. 4. New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1908. 5 November 2017
  5. ^ "Histoire". Abbaye Saint-Maurice de Clervaux (in French).

External linksEdit

Coordinates: 47°23′29″N 0°16′58″W / 47.39139°N 0.28278°W / 47.39139; -0.28278