• Well House Conservation Management Report

    Earlier this year we were awarded funding from the Heritage Council under the Community...

    Read full story
  • RIP - Fr Denis Collins ocso

    Please pray for

    Fr Denis Collins ocso

    of this community who died on

    Saturday, 14th...

    Read full story
  • Fr Bonaventure Cumiskey ocso - RIP

    Please pray for

    Fr Bonaventure Cumiskey ocso

    of this community who died


    Read full story
  • Cistercian History

    After its birth the Cistercian Order flourished to such an astonishing degree that within a century it included a very large number of monasteries, in all parts of Europe. But inevitably it began to experience the normal alternations between periods of greater fervor and fidelity to the original charism, and on the other hand periods of reduced vitality. This made it necessary to institute vigorous reforms to revitalize the original spirit of the Order.  The General Chapter met annually to review the progress of the communities, and to assure the integrity of Cistercian life and the uniformity of fundamental observances.

    Pope Benedict XII

    Several Popes also interested themselves in the Order’s spiritual progress, two of them going so far as to issue papal bulls which enforced reforms in certain areas. Parvus Fons, issued in 1265 by Pope Clement IV, regulated the governance, while Fulgens sicut stella, issued in the mid fourteenth century by Pope Benedict XII (a Cistercian), dealt with financial management and studies. The General Chapters were charged with putting these reforms into action.

    But due to the Hundred Years’ War (1335-1435), for an entire century the General Chapters were suspended, and during of  the Western Schism (1378 – 1417) the monasteries themselves were divided in their allegiance to rival Popes. When the war and the schism ended, the Chapter tried to reach the most far-flung communities in need of reform, by means of Regular Visitations.  Particular attention was paid to Northern Europe and to Iberia. In Spain, Martin de Vargas formed a plan for returning to a more austere observance, and to implement this plan, founded the first Cistercian congregation, the Congregation of Castile (1425).  The General Chapter also reached out to communities in Eastern Europe, England, Belgium and Flanders.


    In 1494 Jean de Cirey, Abbot of Citeaux, courageously instituted a plan to revive monastic observance, long debilitated by war, the commendam system (whereby kings took over the selection of abbess or abbot of a monastery), and general mismanagement. The codification of this plan became known as The Articles of Paris. Besides, in the aftermath of the division of Christendom following the  Protestant Reformation, and with the rise of nationalism, the monasteries of the Order were gradually dividing into national groups.  The congregations that were born in various regions towards the first half of the 1440’s brought back to life a firm desire for rebirth in the Cistercian spirit, but then tended to disappear by the first half of the nineteenth century.  These congregations were obliged to adapt their lifestyle to the norms of contemporary reform movements in the Church at large.

    During the period of the Congregations all our monasteries underwent great transformations, leaving deep marks of growth in the areas of spirituality, intellect, and community life.

    List of major Cistercian Congregations:

    1425 Martin V:  Congregation of Castile

    1497 Alexander:  Congregation of St. Bernard in Italy

    In the wake of the Council of Trent:

    1567 Pius V:  Congregation of Portugal

    1616 Paul V:  Congregation of the Crown of Aragon

    1623 Gregory XV:  Roman Congregation

    1623 Urban VIII:  High German Congregation

    1806 Pius VII:  Helvetic Congregation

    1894 Leo XIII:  Swiss-German Congregation


    Facebook Twitter Flickr
    Mount Melleray Abbey,
    Co. Waterford,

    RCN 20003203

  • 23. 10. 23 - Well House Conservation Management...
  • 16. 04. 18 - RIP - Fr Denis Collins ocso
  • 05. 04. 18 - Fr Bonaventure Cumiskey ocso - RIP
  • 27. 03. 18 - ​Holy Week and Easter at Mount...
  • 02. 03. 18 - ​Mount Melleray in the Snow
  • 10. 02. 18 - Fr Bonaventure Celebrates 70 years...
  • 04. 11. 17 - ​Inauguration of the New Abbot
  • © Mount Melleray Abbey 2017. / Designed and Developed by Frequency