Bi-ritual Monks Revive Glorious Abbey In France

The Benedictines of Saint-Joseph de Clairval in Flavigny-sur-Ozerain, Burgundy, will revive Solignac Abbey in Central France, beginning in August.

The news was announced on June 11 by Limoges Bishop Pierre-Antoine Bozo and Abbot Jean-Bernard Marie Bories who was only elected a year ago. His community was founded in Switzerland in 1972 around Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre (+1991) whom they left after the 1988 episcopal consecrations.

The monks were welcomed by Dijon Bishop Michel Louis Coloni (+2016), who forced them to replace the Community Mass with a New Rite Eucharist - which is presided towards God and in Latin - in order to obtain the desired canonical recognition. The monks' private Masses are mostly celebrated in the Roman Rite. Now, the group has about fifty monks. Founding Abbot Augustin Marie Joly, 89, died in January 2006.

Solignac was founded by Saint Eligius (+660) and closed down in 1790 by the French Revolution which used it as a prison for priests and nuns who opposed the terror regime of the Revolution. Later, the monastery changed hands many times until Limoges Diocese purchased it in 2011.

The 18th century abbey church is an extraordinary example of a church in the Romanesque style.


I believe the monks of Flavigny broke from Archbishop Lefebvre a few years earlier than the Consecrations. This is what gave the local Ordinary the ability to mandate the Novus Ordo for their Conventual Mass. They are a wonderful community, devoted to Our Lady's messages at Fatima and offering the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius to the laity, very unusual for Benedictines.
"Happy is he who lives under the protection of the Blessed Virgin." St. John Mary Vianney