It was founded in about 1134 by Saint Stephen of Obazine, who after his ordination, with another priest, Pierre, began the eremitical life. They attracted a number of followers and with the sanction of Eustorge, Bishop of Tulle, built a monastery on a site granted them by the Viscount Archambault.
Before 1142 they had no established rule; however, in this year, St. Stephen was clothed with the regular habit. He had Cistercian monks train his followers in their mode of life, and affiliated his abbey to that of Cîteaux in 1147. As their number increased, several foundations were made. Before the cistercian affliation, the Abbey had a feminine monastery in Coyroux with a high closure. In Cîteaux, this organization wasn't common, but it improved the good reputation of Obazine.
The Obazine Abbey had fundations in Limousin and Quercy, as farms all around Rocamadour, a famous sacred place of pilgrimage. These cistercian farms were situated in Alix, Calès, Bonnecoste, Couzou, Carlucet, near Séniergues, and the last la Pannonie. That ring of cistercian presence in Quercy could furnish wood and food to pilgrims, to monks of Rocamadour and to Obazine. But they could'nt survive after the Hundred Years War. Part of them became little castles as la Pannonie and Bonnecoste. Others disappeared.
Among the most distinguished abbots of Obazine were François d'Escobleau (d. 1628), Archbishop of Bordeaux, and Charles de la Roche-Aymon (d. 1777), Cardinal Archbishop of Reims. The abbey was suppressed and its property confiscated by the government during the French Revolution in 1791. The government then converted the abbey into a bordello for the remainder of the decade.
The structure of the abbey church survived the Revolution and now after restoration serves as the parish church of Aubazines.
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- (French) Town website of Aubazine
- This article incorporates text from the entry Monastery of Obazine in Catholic Encyclopedia of 1913, a publication now in the public domain.
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