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Premonstratensians - Norbertine Sisters


In the 12th century there were many communities of Norbertine Sisters in France. There were double cloisters existing there up to 1140, when the General Chapter decided to put the cloisters of the Sisters in separate accommodation at a distance from the Abbeys. In the North of France, in Lotharingia and Floreffia, the communities of the Sisters were moved to the sides of the fields of the Norbertine Abbeys, and they were left on their own, so most of the communities died out. We can find only 2 Communities in the 14th century, Bonlieu and Mirambeau (2). The Community of Bonlieu died out by the 15th century. The Community of Mirambeau was placed in La Rochelle, where they died out by the 16th century. The Norbertine Community of Bonlieu was revived in 1871. - We have to mention here the name of Mere Marie de la Droix, who became a Norbertine Canoness in 1869. She was the Foundress of the Norbertine monastery of Bonlieu. It was not without difficulty and much sacrifice.- But again in 1901, because of the law against religious congregations, the Norbertine Community of 25 sisters had to leave Bonlieu. They found refuge in Belgium, near Grimbergen Abbey. With the help of the Norbertines of Grimbergen they made the Chateau habitable. The Norbertine nuns were not able to return to Bonlieu until 1933. By that time they numbered 22. On their return to France, the Sisters came again under the jurisdiction of the Bishop of Valence and for their spiritual direction they were placed under the Abbot of Frigolet. The Community was working till 2008. In 2007/08 two of the last Sisters died and the last one, Sr. Marie Beatrice moved to the St. Mary Community in Bourg St Andeol. So sadly the Convent of Bonlieu is now closed.

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