Benaguacil

Location

Official Name Monasterio Santa Maria de Gratia Dei

34

Country Spain

City Benaguacil

Postcode E-46180

Contact Information

Telephone [34] 96 273 07 11

Fax [34] 96 273 07 11

Community Email cisterbenaguacil@planalfa.es

Superior Madre Maria Encarnación Lluch Mendieta, Superiora ad nutum 2004 ; Abadesa 2005

Other Informations

Juridical Status Abbey

Diocese Archidioecesis Valentina (Valencia)

OCSO Region RE

Incorporated 1954

Origins

Foundation at Zaydia in 1265; incorporated into the OCSO in 1954; transfer to Benaguacil in 1965.

History

CISTERCIAN MONASTERY SANTA MARIA GRATIA DEI  ( formerly Zaydia )

In 1265 the royal monastery of Zaydia was founded by Dona Teresa Gil de Vidaure, the third wife of the King Dom Jaime 1, the Conqueror. She donated the land with baths and gardens which was formerly, according to general opinion, the property of a moorish princess.

 

The Abbot of Benifazar had nuns from the monastery of Vallbona, a foundation of Tulebras, come to start the foundation. We know the names of the three foundresses, Dona Beatriz Anglesola, Dona Catalina Catala and Doma Guillermina.

 

In 1266 the second day of the kalends of February,  the archbishop of Valencia gave authorization to build the monastery.

 

In 1708 King Philip V ordered that in all the official  documents, the title of “Illustrious” and “Loyal”had to be given to the monastery, due to their allegiance to the Bourbon party.

 

Through the centuries, the monastery had to suffer repeated floodings, causing much damage.

 

In 1810, during the War of Independence, as the French troups of General Souchet approached, out of fear that the monastery could serve as a fortress for the French, the general in command locally, Jose Caro, gave orders to demolish it. Having to abandon the ruined monastery, the nuns suffered many trials, finding shelter in different place which received them out of charity.

 

After having built a temporary building in the ruins, the community was able to return on 12 April 1816. The rebuilding of the monastery was not completed until 1827. Due to insufficient resources, it was nothing like the former monastery in beauty.

 

In 1837 the law ordering the sale of church property by Mendizabal deprived the monastery of a large part of valuable documents as well as many farms and mills in Valence that belonged to them.

 

In 1927 the community of Zaydia made the foundation of Our Lady  De Font Salutis in Algemesi  (Valencia). The first Abbesses, Mother Micaela Maldovi and Mother Navidad Medes, both nuns of Zaydia, gained the palm of martyrdom when they were shot during the religious persecution of 1936 – 1939. During this same war, the nuns had to leave the monastery because it was raided by groups of soldiers. Three nuns were imprisoned for several months; others had to find shelter with different families. The monastery was not destroyed but was rampaged, causing considerable losses and damage, and the sandalwood choir stalls were burned.

 

In 1954 the community was incorporated into the Cistercians of the Strict Observance

 

In 1957 a new flood hit the monastery: four young and courageous nuns went down to the darkened church to rescue the Eucharist, going through water higher than the waist. Given the ravaged state of the monastery, the superiors and community decided to relocate to another place, namely, at Benaguacil (Valencia), on 8 April 1965. The church was consecrated by Msgr Salmon, the former abbot of St. Jerome in Urbe, accompanied by the Abbot General, Dom Ignace Gillet, along with the Father Immediate, Dom Buenaventura Ramos, abbot of San Isidro.

 

After the community was established in the new monastery, both simple and functional, we faced new challenges… finding a good industry. Many possibilities were tried. The result was a number of industries.

Responding to the request of the abbot of San Isidro, our community agreed to receive and form  pre-postulants from Angola. On 16 April 1966 the first four arrived. During 9 years we welcomed 11 girls; at the end, only three remained and are the first members of the community of Angola founded by Valserena. It was a hard road for them and for us but, with the help of God, we made it.

Foundations

Our Lady De Font Salutis 1927 (Algemesi, Valencia)

Father Immediate

Cardeña

Past Superiors

Margarita ANTICH GRAN, Abbess (1954 – 31/10/1958)
Celina NOGUERRA, Superior ad nutum (30/04/1959 – 1965?)
Gema FRASQUET SERRA, Superior ad nutum (1965 – 20/02/1967)
M. Perpetuo Socorro ABELEDO, Abbess (21/03/1967 – 30/06/1972)
M.Visitacion SANZ GIL, Superior ad nutum (30/06/1972 – 19/05/1975), Abbess (19/05/1975 – 19/05/1981)
Inmaculada GONZALEZ, Abbess (13/07/1981 – 30/06/1999), superior ad nutum (30/06/1999 – 05/11/2002)
Maria Pilar PISONERO PASCUAL, superior ad nutum (05/11/2002 – 31/03/2004)

Work and Sources of Income

Icons, jam and oranges

Guest Facilities

INSTALACIONES EN LA HOSPEDERIA DEL MONASTERIO   Hospedera H. Raquel: Telefóno: 962730711

  • 5 habitaciones (7 personas)
  • 1 comedor capacidad 30 personas
  • 1 sale de reuniones capacidad 20 personas
  • 1 salita de lectura
  • Pinada para pasear
  • Iglesia: participación de la liturgia de la comunidad

INSTALACIONES EN LA MASIA ZAMPA DEL MONASTERIO Coordinadores: Rosa y Miguel Teléfono: 696 00 00 47

  • 3 comedores: 30, 36 y 50 plazas respectivamente
  • 3 dormitorios comunes : 30, 36 y 50 plazas respectivamente
  • Sala de reuniones: los comedores y 2 salas de 20 y 10 plazas
  • Capilla para 25 plazas
  • Zonas de acampada: 5 tiendas aproximadamente
  • Zonas de esparcimiento, juegos: alrededores del mas
  • Zonas de deportes: futbol
  • Otros: teatro, aparcamiento y río
  • Asistencia religiosa: monasterio cister colindante

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