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Etoile (L')

It is not until 1124 following the propagation of an eremitic group in 1117 under Isembaud's initiative, a Benedictine Abbot from Preuilly-sur-Claise that the abbey was named l'Etoile after his brother Pierre de L'Etoile founder of Fontgombault. L'Etoile joins the Order of Cîteaux in 1145 during the foundation of Pontigny which had as third Abbot the famous Isaac de L'Etoile whose theological works will be rediscovered during the XXth century as well as being the sole Cistercian theologian quoted during Vatican II. Damaged during the Hundred Years wars, the monastery was restored near the end of the XVth century under the abbotship of Dom Jean Chopelin and benefited from the reformist work of Dom Jérôme Petit, Abbot newly arrived from Clairvaux and advocate of the Straight Observance. His successors, all regular fathers will maintain this fervour up until the mid-XVIIIth century. For this reason, L'Etoile will be considered as one of the Strict Observance cradle with today's Trappist preserving the heritage. Since having become an agriculture farm during the XIXth century, the abbey has nevertheless kept its Cistercian aspect, especially the Chapter house where once could be heard Isaac's voice. The Archigny borough bought the whole convent in 1987 which has since been listed in the French Government Heritage books from December 12, 1991. From this moment the building has partially been restored, dealing with emergencies as much as credits have allowed. An Association has been set to keep the place alive and publishes twice a year a generous Bulletin to get the place known and preserve the echoes of a place where for over 600 years the Cistercian charisma will have been lived with a humility and a simplicity and a quietness all brands of the order.

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