Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

Born about the year 1029, at Champagne, France, of noble parents who bore the names of Thierry and Ermengarde; d. at Molesme, 17 April, 1111. When fifteen years of age, he commenced his novitiate in the Abbey of Montier-la-Celle, or St. Pierre-la-Celle, situated near Troyes, of which he became later prior. In 1068 he succeeded Hunaut II as Abbot of St. Michael de Tonnerre, in the Diocese of Langres. About this time a band of seven anchorites who lived in the forest of Collan, in the same diocese, sought to have Robert for their chief, but the monks, despite their constant resistance to his authority, insisted on keeping their abbot who enjoyed so great a reputation, and was the ornament of their house. Their intrigues determined Robert to resign his charge in 1071, and seek refuge in the monastery of Montier-la-Celle. The same year he was placed over the priory of St. Ayoul de Provins, which depended on Montier-la-Celle. Meantime two of the hermits of Collan went to Rome and besought Gregory VII to give them the prior of Provins for their superior. The pope granted their request, and in 1074 Robert initiated the hermits of Collan in the monastic life. As the location at Collan was found unsuitable, Robert founded a monastery at Molesme in the valley of Langres at the close of 1075. To Molesme as a guest came the distinguished canon and doctor ( écolâtre ) of Reims, Bruno, who, in 1082, placed himself under the direction of Robert, before founding the celebrated order of the Chartreux. At this time the primitive discipline was still in its full vigour, and the religious lived by the labour of their hands. Soon, however, the monastery became wealthy through a number of donations, and with wealth, despite the vigilance of the abbot, came laxity of discipline. Robert endeavoured to restore the primitive strictness, but the monks showed so much resistance that he abdicated, and left the care of his community to his prior, Alberic, who retired in 1093. In the following year he returned with Robert to Molesme. On 29 Nov., 1095, Urban II confirmed the institute of Molesme. In 1098 Robert, still unable to reform his rebellious monks, obtained from Hugues, Archbishop of Lyons and Legate of the Holy See, authority to found a new order on new lines. Twenty-one religious left Molesme and set out joyfully for a desert called Cîteaux in the Diocese of Châlons, and the Abbey of Cîteaux was founded 21 March, 1098.

Left to themselves, the monks of Molesme appealed to the pope, and Robert was restored to Molesme, which thereafter became an ardent centre of monastic life. Robert died 17 April, 1111, and was buried with great pomp in the church of the abbey. Pope Honorius III by Letters Apostolic in 1222 authorized his veneration in the church of Molesme, and soon after the veneration of St. Robert was extended to the whole Church by a pontifical Decree. The feast was fixed at first on 17 April, but later it was transferred to 29 April. The Abbey of Molesme existed up to the French Revolution. The remains of the holy founder are preserved in the parish church.


More Encyclopedia

The Catholic Encyclopedia is the most comprehensive resource on Catholic teaching, history, and information ever gathered in all of human history. This easy-to-search online version was originally printed in fifteen hardcopy volumes.

Catholic Encyclopedia

Designed to present its readers with the full body of Catholic teaching, the Encyclopedia contains not only precise statements of what the Church has defined, but also an impartial record of different views of acknowledged authority on all disputed questions, national, political or factional. In the determination of the truth the most recent and acknowledged scientific methods are employed, and the results of the latest research in theology, philosophy, history, apologetics, archaeology, and other sciences are given careful consideration.

No one who is interested in human history, past and present, can ignore the Catholic Church, either as an institution which has been the central figure in the civilized world for nearly two thousand years, decisively affecting its destinies, religious, literary, scientific, social and political, or as an existing power whose influence and activity extend to every part of the globe. In the past century the Church has grown both extensively and intensively among English-speaking peoples. Their living interests demand that they should have the means of informing themselves about this vast institution, which, whether they are Catholics or not, affects their fortunes and their destiny.

Copyright © Catholic Encyclopedia. Robert Appleton Company New York, NY. Volume 1: 1907; Volume 2: 1907; Volume 3: 1908; Volume 4: 1908; Volume 5: 1909; Volume 6: 1909; Volume 7: 1910; Volume 8: 1910; Volume 9: 1910; Volume 10: 1911; Volume 11: - 1911; Volume 12: - 1911; Volume 13: - 1912; Volume 14: 1912; Volume 15: 1912

Catholic Online Catholic Encyclopedia Digital version Compiled and Copyright © Catholic Online


Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Acts 3:11-26
11 Everyone came running towards them in great ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 8:2, 5, 6-7, 8-9
2 even through the mouths of children, or of babes in ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 24:35-48
35 Then they told their story of what had happened on ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for April 24th, 2014 Image

St. Fidelis of Sigmaringen
April 24: Franciscan Capuchin martyr. He was born Mark Rey is Sigmaringen, ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter