Rochefort (abbeye Our Lady of St Rémy)

- History of the abbey

About 1755, the discipline was neglected in the abbey. Abbot Henri de Villegia declared a severe ordinance which stipulated that it “was prohibited to take tea, coffee, chocolate, liquors, wine, to smoke, play cards, under penalty of being confined to one’s room one whole day.” At the end of the Ancien Régime (just before the French revolution), the monks asked the court of Rome to be freed of these restrictions. In 1792, the Pope secularized the abbey and authorized the monks to carry the title of canon. The monks shared silverware, the linens, the library, the incomes and everyone, in his own district, lived independently from the others, with a servant. They were then 8 canons.

In May 1794, the army of the Moselle, ordered by Jourdan, invaded the abbey and removed the provisions and the valuable articles, but doing no damage to the abbey. The rabble undertook to complete the work, invaded the monastery, broke stained glass and pieces of furniture and plundered the library. The abbey of St Rémy was sold in 1796. It was acquired by an individual who demolished the Church and, with existing materials, managed to build various buildings that stand today in Rochefort. The last abbot of St Rémy, Armand De La Pierre, died as senior of Rochefort in 1822.

In 1887, Saint Rémy was repurchased by the abbot Sény, who gave it as a donation to the abbey of Achel. In December of the same year, Achel sent a colony of monks to Rochefort. The abbey survived the two wars, and in fact succeeded in remaining active despite the German occupation.
As of 2003, approximately thirty Trappists still lived in the abbey of Rochefort.

The three topics of its motto “Curvata Resurgo” (Curved, I straighten up) illustrate the three theological virtues: the palm tree (faith), the star (hope), and the rose (charity).

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