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The Cistercian Family

Cis.... who? We from Monastic Experience are cistercian nuns from Seligenthal (Germany) and in this article we want to offer you some background information on our order and the whole cistercian family.


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History of the Cistercian Order

The origin of the Cistercian Order is the foundation of the monastery of Citeaux in 1098. The first monks of Citeaux were Benedictines who, in their new foundation, strove for a more literal implementation of the Rule of St. Benedict than was customary in the Benedictine monasteries of their time.

In particular, they wanted to return to a simple life in which the brothers earned their living from the work of their hands.


The founding fathers Robert of Molesme, Stephan Harding and Alberich of Citeaux made sure to give the monasteries a solid constitution (the Carta Caritatis) to regulate the relationship between the monasteries. The resulting centralized structure of the order was the first of its kind, so that it can be said that the Cistercian order is the oldest order in the canonical sense in church history. The Cistercian Order was approved by Pope Calixt II. in the year 1119.


With the entry of St. Bernard of Clairvaux into the Cistercian order (1112), the order began to spread enormously, so that almost 200 years later there were over 700 Cistercian monasteries throughout Europe.

And the motto was: Una caritate, una regula similibusque vivamus moribus.



emblem in the main colors blue and yellow with the slogan banner: cistercium mater nostra
emblem of the cistercian order

Cistercian Order of the strict observance (OCSO)

After the Council of Trent (1545-1563), reform efforts for the renewal of religious life emerged within the Cistercian order. This led to the creation of several congregations.

In the 17th century, Abbot Armand Jean Le Bouthillier de Rancé presided over a reform of the monastery of La Trappe. He emphasized the importance of repentance, self-denial, humility and asceticism. Many admired him and several monasteries joined his reform and formed the congregation of La Trappe. During the French Revolution the community of La Trappe had to flee through multiple countries. This "monastic Odysee" helped the reform movement to spread more widely.

In 1892 Pope Leo XIII. united the three congregations of La Trappe, Sept Fons and Westmalle into an independent and new order. Since then there have been two independent Cistercian orders, each with its own abbot general and general chapter.


Further members of the Cistercian Family

The sisters and brothers of the various communities or monastic congregations associated with the spiritual heritage of the Cistercians form the Familia Cisterciensis or Cistercian family. Pope Pius IX used this term in his Breve 'Quae a sanctissimis' of February 7, 1871, in which he confirmed the legitimacy of the Cistercian rite.

Subsequently, the term Familia Cisterciensis was mainly used to refer to the Cistercian observances and congregations as a whole, which had since become independent entities under canon law.

The Cistercian family includes


List of inhabited cistercian monasteries

You'll find the inhabited cistercian monasteries in your country in the list of the corresponding continent:



Northern America


a map with markers on the location of cistercian monasteries in Canada and the USA
Cistercian monasteries in CA and the USA, markers are blue for male, violet for female, square for OCSO, round for OCist communities

Name

City, Country

Order

monks / nuns

Rogersville, Canada

OCSO

nuns

Rogersville, Canada

OCSO

monks

Rougemont, Canada

OCist

monks

Saint-Jean-de-Matha, Canada

OCSO

monks

Berryville, USA

OCSO

monks

Carlton, USA

OCSO

monks

Conyers, USA

OCSO

monks

Crozet, USA

OCSO

nuns

Dubuque, USA

OCSO

nuns

Irving, USA

OCist

monks

St. Joseph

Lucerne Valley, USA

OCist

monks

Moncks Corner, USA

OCSO

monks

Peosta

OCSO

monks

Piffard, USA

OCSO

monks

Prairie du Sac, USA

OCist

nuns

Snowmass, USA

OCSO

monks

Sonoita, USA

OCSO

nuns

Spencer, USA

OCSO

monks

Trappist, USA

OCSO

monks

Vina, USA

OCSO

monks

Walnut Grove, USA

OCist

monks

Whitethorn, USA

OCSO

nuns

Willow Springs

Willow Springs, USA

OCist

monks

Wrentham, USA

OCSO

nuns



Latin America


Name

City, Country

Order

monks / nuns

Azul, Argentina

OCSO

monks

Hinojo, Argentina

OCSO

nuns

B.M.V. de Nazareth

Apolo, Bolivia

OCist

nuns

Ave Maria

La Paz, Bolivia

OCist

nuns

Campo do Tenente, Brazil

OCSO

monks

Campo Grande, Brazil

OCist

nuns

Claraval, Brazil

OCist

monks

Itaporanga, Brazil

OCist

monks

Itararé, Brazil

OCist

monks

Itatinga, Brazil

OCist

monks

Jequitibá

Jequitibá, Brazil

OCist

monks

Nossa Senhora da Boa Vista

Rio Negrinho, Brazil

OCSO

nuns

Santa Cruz do Monte Castelo, Brazil

OCist

nuns

N. Sra. de São Bernardo

São José do Rio Pardo, Brazil

OCist

monks

Curicó, Chile

OCSO

nuns

Rancagua, Chile

OCSO

monks

Jarabacoa, Dom. Rep.

OCSO

monks

Santa Maria de la Esperanza

Esmeraldas, Ecuador

OCSO

nuns

Santa María del Paraíso

Latacunga, Ecuador

OCSO

monks

El Encuentro

Ciudad Hidalgo, Mexico

OCSO

nuns

Virgen del Curutaran

Jacona, Mexico

OCSO

monks

Santa Maria de la Paz

Chame, Panama

OCSO

nuns

N.S. de Coromoto

El Tocuyo, Venezuela

OCSO

nuns

Nuestra Señora de Los Andes

Mérida, Venezuela

OCSO

monks


Europe

Since there are a lot of cistercian monasteries on the european continent, you'll find the full lists in a post of its own: Cistercian monasteries in Europe

Several countries are grouped together:


  • Austria, Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovenia


  • Belgium, Germany and Netherlands

  • France

  • Ireland, UK and Scandinavia

  • Italy and Switzerland

  • Portugal and Spain





Africa


Name

City, Country

Order

monks / nuns

Huambo, Angola

OCSO

nuns

N.-D. de Kokoubou

Parakou, Benin

OCSO

monks

L'Étoile Notre-Dame

Parakou, Benin

OCSO

nuns

Bamenda

Bamenda, Cameroon

OCSO

monks

N.-D. de Koutaba

Koundja, Cameroon

OCSO

monks

N.-D. des Mokoto

Gisenyi, Dem. Rep. Congo

OCSO

monks

N.-D. de l'Emmanuel

Kinshasa, Dem. Rep. Congo

OCSO

monks

N.-D. de Mvanda

Kinshasa, Dem. Rep. Congo

OCSO

nuns

La Clarté-Dieu

Murhesa, Dem. Rep. Congo

OCSO

nuns

S. Maria Assunta in Cielo

Asmara, Eritrea

OCist

monks

S. Stephano

Keren, Eritrea

OCist

monks

Addis Abeba, Ethiopia

OCist

monks

Our Lady Queen of Peace

Gondar, Ethiopia

OCist

monks

Holy Trinity

Hosana, Ethiopia

OCist

monks

Immaculate Conception

Mendida, Ethiopia

OCist

monks

Masina Maria (Ampibanjinana)

Fianarantsoa, Madagascar

OCSO

nuns

Fianarantsoa, Madagascar

OCSO

monks

Midelt, Maroc

OCSO

monks

St. Justina

Abakaliki, Nigeria

OCSO

nuns

O.L. of Mount Calvary

Enugu, Nigeria

OCSO

monks

Holy Cross Monastery

Illah, Nigeria

OCSO

monks

Our Lady of the Angels

Onitsha, Nigeria

OCSO

monks

Kibungo

Kibungo, Rwanda

OCSO

nuns

Kyotera, Uganda

OCSO

monks

O.L. of Praise

Masaka, Uganda

OCSO

nuns



Asia



Name

City, Country

Order

monks / nuns





N.-D. de Vĩnh-Phước

Biên Hòa, Vietnam

OCist

nuns

An Phước

Bưu Điện Tam Phước, Vietnam

OCist

monks

Thanh Mau Tam My Ca

Cam Hòa, Vietnam

OCist

monks

Châu Thủy

Hàm Tân, Vietnam

OCist

monks

Châu Sơn

Lạc Xuân, Vietnam

OCist

monks

Châu Sơn

Nho Quan, Vietnam

OCist

monks

Phước Sơn

Phước Hòa, Vietnam

OCist

monks

Phước Thiên

Phước Hòa, Vietnam

OCist

nuns

Phước Vĩnh

Thôn Rôn, Vietnam

OCist

monks

N.-D. de Phước Hải

Trần Phú, Vietnam

OCist

nuns

Thiên Phước

Trần Phú, Vietnam

OCist

monks

Phước Lý

Vĩnh Thanh, Vietnam

OCist

monks


Oceania


Name

City, Country

Order

monks / nuns

Tarrawarra, Australia

OCSO

monks

Hawke's Bay, New Zealand

OCSO

monks



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