This monastery was founded in 717 by Widerad, who richly endowed it. According to the authors of the Gallia Christiana the new abbey, placed under the patronage of Saint Praejectus (Prix), Bishop of Clermont, and martyr, was erected on the site of an ancient monastic foundation, dating, it is said, from the time of Clovis, and formerly under the patronage of Saint Peter, who as patron eventually overshadowed and superseded Saint Prix. Pope John VIII dedicated the new church about the year 877, from which time the patronage of Peter appears to have prevailed definitively.
The fame of Flavigny was due partly to the relics which it preserved, and partly to the piety of its religious. The monastery was at the height of its reputation in the eighth century, in the time of the Abbot Manasses, whom Charlemagne authorized to found the monastery of Corbigny. The same Manasses transferred from Volvic to Flavigny the relics of Saint Praejectus.
There were also preserved here the relics of Saint Regina, whom her acts represent as having been beheaded for the faith in the town of Alise (since called Alise-Sainte-Reine). The history of the translation of Regina (21-22 March 864) was the subject of a contemporary account.
Unfortunately the "Chronicle", the "Martyrology", and the "Necrology" of the Abbot Hugues, and the "Livre contenant les choses notables", have either perished or contain few facts of real interest. The liturgical books, notably the "Lectionary", have disappeared. The abbatial list contains few names worthy to be preserved, with the exception of that of Hugues of Flavigny.
The monastery was rebuilt in the 17th century and occupied by Benedictines of the Congregation of St. Maur, who were actively employed in research concerning the historical documents of the abbey, but the results of their studies disappeared during the French Revolution, when the abbey was dissolved.
Anise de Flavigny
- This article incorporates text from the Catholic Encyclopedia of 1913, a publication now in the public domain.
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