Bellefontaine

Location

Official Name Abbaye N.-D. de Bellefontaine

06

Country France

City Bégrolles en Mauges

Postcode F-49122

Contact Information

Telephone [33] (2) 41 75 60 40

Community Email info@bellefontaine-abbaye.com

Website www.bellefontaine-abbaye.com

Superior Dom Jean-Marc Chéné, Abbé 2004

Other Informations

Juridical Status Abbey

Diocese Dioecesis Andegavensis (Angers)

OCSO Region RéCiF

Founded/Restored 1816

Origins

Established as a abbey around 1120; dispersion of the community in 1790; purchase of the monastery by Dom Urbain Guillet in 1816.

History

It is known that a Benedictine priory existed at Bellefontaine in the 11thcentury.  Its origin and date of foundation are unknown.

Ca. 1120: establishment as a Benedictine abbey.

1642: 7 December: the commendatory abbot, Dom Michel Sublet, introduces the Feuillant reform, which lasts until the Revolution.

1790: dispersal of the four religious, of whom 1 was a lay-brother.

1791, 27 May: sale of the monastery as property of the state.

1793: the last commendatory abbot of Bellefontaine, Pierre-Leonard de Laage, dies in exile as a confessor of the faith.

1816, 4 May: on his return from [North] America, Dom Urbain Guillet purchases the first buildings of Bellefontaine and installs the Trappists.

1817, 2 April: death of Dom Urbain Guillet.  Dom de Lestrange appoints Dom Michel Le Fort, monk of La Trappe but resident of Bellefontaine for several years, superior of Bellefontaine.  The community of La Trappe had sought refuge at Bellefontaine because of certain difficulties encountered in the diocese of Seez.

1827, 13 August: election of Dom Michel le Port as abbot of Bellefontaine.  Mgr. Montault, bishop of Angers, requests the Holy See to raise Bellefontaine to the rank of abbey with Dom Michel le Fort as abbot.

1828, 26 September: confirmation by the Holy See of the election of Dom Michel le Fort as abbot of Bellefontaine.  This confirmation is, in fact, the Charter of the erection of the monastery as an abbey: the Act is registered by the Ordinary on 5 November, 1828.

1830: death of Dom Michel le Port, 27 February.

1845: Six monks are sent for the foundation of Staoueli in Algeria.

1849, 11 Oct.: Resignation of Dom Augustin de la Forest-Divonne, who withdraws to Fontgombaud, founded under his abbacy the same year.

1879, 21 September: consecration of the abbey church by Mgr. Freppel.

1880, 6 November: expulsion for 5 weeks (decrees of 29 March 1880).

1929: death of Dom Jean-Marie Chouteau on 28 Dec.

1957, 7 November: election of Dom Gabriel as abbot general.

1966: Inauguration of “Les editions de Bellefontaine”.

Foundations

Oka (1881); Prairies (1892); Kokoubou (1972)

Father Immediate

La Trappe

Daughter Houses

Val Notre-Dame (formerly Oka); Prairies (1892 – 1936); Spencer (since 1952); Kokoubou; Gardes; Etoile Notre-Dame; Cabanoule (til 1970), Mvanda (1990 – 2010)

Past Superiors

Jean-Marc CHENE — Abbot — 03/05/2004

Etienne BAUDRY  —  Abbot  —  08/09/1987 – 17/04/2004

Emmanuel COUTANT  —  Abbot  —  26/01/1952 – 15/08/1987

Gabriel SORTAIS  —  Abbot  —  06/05/1936 – 07/11/1951

Jean-Baptiste AUGER  —  Abbot  —  10/02/1930 – 01/04/1936

Jean Marie CHOUTEAU  —  Abbot  —  05/12/1866 – 28/12/1929

Fulgence GUILLAUME  —  Abbot (2nd time)  —  22/11/1850 – 29/11/1866

Augustin de la FOREST-DIVONNE  —  Abbot  —  17/07/1845 – 11/10/1849

Fulgence GUILLAUME  —  Abbot  —  07/07/1830 – 19/03/1845

Michel LE FORT  —  Appointed Superior  —  02/04/1817 – 13/08/1827

”         “          —  Elected Superior  —  13/08/1827 – 26/09/1828

”         “          —  Abbot  —  26/09/1828 – 27/02/1830

Urbain GUILLET  —  Founding Superior  —  04/05/1816 – 02/04/1817

Work and Sources of Income

Farming, fruit trees, manufacture of fruit gums, store (religious books and food products), guesthouse.

Guest Facilities

42 rooms

Transportation

Gare SNCF, voyageurs: Cholet, 14 km.

Monasteries

  • Latroun

    Israel

  • Val Notre-Dame

    Canada

  • La Palma

    Spain