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Abbas Generalis
Dom Eamon Fitzgerald


Order of Trappists (O.C.S.O.)

Catholic religious order

Viale Africa, 33Rome, Italy

The Order of Cistercians of the Strict Observance (O.C.S.O.: Ordo Cisterciensis Strictioris Observantiae) is a Roman Catholic religious order of cloistered contemplative monastics who follow the Rule of St. Benedict. A branch of the Order of Cistercians, they have communities of both monks and nuns, commonly referred to as Trappists and Trappistines, respectively.



The order takes its name from La Trappe Abbey or La Grande Trappe, located in the French province of Normandy. A reform movement began there in 1664, in reaction to the relaxation of practices in many Cistercian monasteries. Armand Jean le Bouthillier de Rancé, originally the commendatory abbot of La Trappe, led the reform. As commendatory abbot, de Rancé was a layman who obtained income from the monastery but had no religious obligations. After a conversion of life between 1660 and 1662, de Rancé formally joined the abbey and became its regular abbot in 1663. In 1892 the reformed "Trappists" broke away from the Cistercian order and formed an independent monastic order with the approval of the pope.

General Abbots

  1. 1892-1904 : Sébastien Wyart
  2. 1904-1922 : Augustin Marre
  3. 1922-1929 : Jean-Baptiste Ollitraut de Keryvallan
  4. 1929-1943 : Herman-Joseph Smets
  5. 1943-1951 : Dominique Nogues
  6. 1951-1963 : Gabriel Sortais
  7. 1964-1974 : Ignace Gillet
  8. 1974-1990 : Ambroise Southey
  9. 1990-2008 : Bernardo-Luis-José Oliveira
  10. 2008-current: Eamon Fitzgerald

Monastic life

The Rule of St. Benedict, written in the sixth century, guides the lives of Trappists. The Rule describes the ideals and values of a monastic life.

"Strict Observance" refers to the Trappists' goal of following closely St. Benedict's Rule and taking the three vows described in his Rule (c. 58): stability, fidelity to monastic life, and obedience. Benedict's insistence on lack of speech has some impact on their way of life, though (contrary to popular belief) they do not take a vow of silence. Trappist monks generally speak only when necessary; thus idle talk is strongly discouraged. According to St. Benedict, speech disturbs a disciple's quietude and receptivity, and may tempt one to exercise one's own will instead of the will of God. Speech that leads to unkind amusement or laughter is seen as evil and is banned. A Trappist sign language, distinct from other forms of monastic sign language, has developed to render speaking unnecessary. Meals are usually taken in contemplative silence as members of the order are supposed to listen to a reading.

Comparing with the Benedictines and the Cistercians, Trappists fully abstain from meat as regards "four-footed animals". While living as vegetarians, they may sometimes eat fish and their diet mostly consists of "vegetables, beans, and grain products".

Though each monastery is autonomous and may have different rules, generally the stages to enter the Trappist life can be described as follows:

  • Candidate/observership: candidates or observers visit a monastery and consult the vocation director and/or the superior to help them discern their vocation. Usually they will be asked to live in the monastery for a short period of time, at least one month.
  • Postulancy: candidates live as a member of the monastery as a postulant for some months, they are guided by the novice director.
  • Novitiate: postulants will be clothed with the monastic habit and are formally received as a member of this order. Novices are still guided by the novice director, and they undergo this stage for two years.
  • After novitiate, novices may take temporary vows. They will live this stage for three to nine years to deepen study, practicing the Gospel in the monastic way and integration within the society.
  • After finishing the previous stage, the professed members may take final vows for their entire life.
  • Goods produced

    The 48th chapter of the Rule of St. Benedict states "for then are they monks in truth, if they live by the work of their hands". Following this rule, most Trappist monasteries produce goods that are sold to provide income for the monastery.

    The goods produced range from cheeses, bread and other foodstuffs to clothing and coffins, though they are most famous for Trappist beers, which are unique within the beer world, and are lauded for their high quality and flavour. Monasteries in Belgium and the Netherlands, such as Orval Abbey and Westvleteren Abbey, brew beer both for the monks themselves and for sale to the general public. The TRAPPIST telescope of the University of Liège is named in honour of the beer. Trappist beers contain residual sugars and living yeast, and, unlike conventional beers, will improve with age. Westvleteren 12 is often considered to be the single best beer in the world.

    The Trappist monks of the Tre Fontane (Three Fountains) Abbey raise the lambs whose wool is used to make the pallia of new metropolitan archbishops. The pope presents the pallia to them on the Solemnity of Saints Peter and Paul, Holy Apostles; they are blessed by the pope on the Feast of Saint Agnes, January 21.


    There are nearly 170 Trappist monasteries and convents in the world, homes to approximately 2,100 Trappist monks and 1,800 Trappistine nuns.


  • Mosteiro Cisterciense, Cavaco-Benguela, Angola (Monks)
  • Mosteiro Cisterciense, Huambo, Angola (Nuns)
  • Irmãs Trapistas Missão Catolica, Bairro Kikolo, Luanda, Angola (Nuns)
  • Abbaye de la Clarté-Dieu, Cyangugu, Bukavu, DR Congo (Nuns)
  • Monastère Notre-Dame de l'Emmanuel, Kinshasa, DR Congo (Monks)
  • Monastere Notre-Dame des Mokoto, Goma, DR Congo (Monks)
  • Monastère Notre-Dame de Mvanda, Kinshasa, DR Congo (Nuns)
  • St. Justina's Monastery, Abakaliki, Nigeria (Nuns)
  • Our Lady of Mount Calvary Monastery, Enugu, Nigeria (Monks)
  • Holy Cross Monastery, Illah, Nigeria (Monks)
  • Our Lady of the Angels Priory, Nsugbe, Nigeria (Monks)
  • Monastère l'Étoile Notre-Dame, Parakou, Benin (Nuns)
  • Monastère Notre-Dame de Kokoubou, Parakou, Benin (Monks)
  • Monastera Masina Maria Ampibanjinana, Fianarantsoa, Madagascar (Nuns)
  • Monastera Masina Maria Maromby, Fianarantsoa, Madagascar (Monks)
  • Soeurs Trappistines, Kibungo, Rwanda (Nuns)
  • Bamenda Abbey, Bamenda, Cameroon (Monks)
  • Monastère Notre-Dame de Grandselve, Obout, Cameroon (Nuns)
  • Monastère Notre-Dame de Koutaba, Koundja, Cameroon (Monks)
  • Priory of Our Lady of Atlas, Midelt, Morocco (Monks)
  • Abbey Our Lady of Praise, Butende, Masaka, Uganda (Nuns)
  • Monastery of Our Lady of Victoria, Kyotera, Uganda (Monks)
  • Asia

  • Our Lady of Joy Abbey, Lantao, Hong Kong (Monks)
  • Ananda Matha Ashram, Kunnambetta near Wayanad, India (Nuns)
  • Kurisumala Ashram in Vagamon, India (Monks)
  • Pertapaan Bunda Pemersatu Gedono in Getasan, Semarang, Indonesia (Nuns)
  • Pertapaan Trappist Lamanabi in Tanjung Bunga, East Flores, Indonesia (Monks)
  • Pertapaan Santa Maria Rawaseneng in Kandangan, Temanggung, Indonesia (Monks)
  • Latroun Abbey, Latroun, Israel (Monks)
  • Ajimu no Seibo Shudoin in Kayagomori, Ōita Prefecture, Japan (Nuns)
  • Torapisuto Shudoin in Imari, Saga, Japan (Nuns)
  • Our Lady of Nasu Monastery in Nasu, Tochigi, Japan (Nuns)
  • B. M. Nishinomiya (Torapisuto), Nishinomiya, Japan (Nuns)
  • Our Lady of the Annunciation Monastery in Minamihata near Hiji, Ōita, Japan (Monks)
  • Our Lady of the Lighthouse Abbey in Mitsuishi, Hokkaido, Japan (Monks)
  • Torapisuto Shudoin (Tenshien) in Kamiyunokawa near Hakodate, Hokkaido, Japan (Nuns)
  • Trappistine Monastery "Our Lady Star of Hope", Macau (Nuns)
  • Our Lady of the Philippines Trappist Abbey in Jordan, Guimaras, Philippines (Monks)
  • Our Lady of Matutum in Polomolok, South Cotabato, Philippines (Nuns)
  • Trappistine Monastery in Sujong-ri, Masanhappo-gu, South Korea (Nuns)
  • Monastero Beata Maria Fons Pacis in Talkalakh, Syria (Nuns)
  • Holy Mother of God Monastery in Shuili, Nantou, Taiwan (Monks)
  • Europe

  • Engelszell Abbey in Engelhartszell, Austria (Monks)
  • Saint Benedictus-Abbey in Achel, Belgium (Monks)
  • Abbaye Notre-Dame de Brialmont in Tilff, Esneux, Belgium (Nuns)
  • Abbaye Notre-Dame de la Paix in Chimay, Belgium (Nuns)
  • Abbaye Notre-Dame de Clairefontaine in Bouillon, Belgium (Nuns)
  • Priorij O.L. Vr van Klaarland in Bocholt, Belgium (Nuns)
  • Abdij O.L. Vr. van Nazareth in Brecht, Belgium (Nuns)
  • Abbaye Notre-Dame d'Orval in Villers-devant-Orval, Belgium (Monks)
  • Abbey of Notre-Dame de Saint-Rémy in Rochefort, Belgium (Monks)
  • Scourmont Abbey in Forges, Belgium (Monks)
  • Abbaye Notre-Dame de Soleilmont in Fleurus, Belgium (Nuns)
  • St. Sixtus' Abbey in Westvleteren, Belgium (Monks)
  • Westmalle Abbey in Westmalle, Belgium (Monks)
  • Opatija Marija Zvijezda in Banja Luka, Bosnia and Herzegovina (Monks)
  • Klášter Naší Paní nad Vltavou in Neveklov, Czech Republic (Nuns)
  • Nový Dvůr Monastery, Czech Republic (Monks)
  • Myrendal Kloster in Allinge, Denmark (Monks)
  • Abbaye de Lérins on île Saint-Honorat, France (Monks)
  • Abbaye Notre-Dame d'Acey in Vitreux, France (Monks)
  • Abbaye Notre-Dame d'Aiguebelle in Montjoyer, France (Monks)
  • Abbaye Notre-Dame de Baumgarten in Bernardvillé, France (Nuns)
  • Abbaye Notre-Dame de Bellefontaine in Bégrolles en Mauges, France (Monks)
  • Abbaye de Belval in Troisvaux, France (Nuns)
  • Abbaye Notre-Dame de Bon Secours in Blauvac, France (Nuns)
  • Abbaye Notre-Dame de Bonneval in Le Cayrol, France (Nuns)
  • Abbaye Notre-Dame de Grâce in Bricquebec, France (Monks)
  • Monastère de la Paix-Dieu in Anduze, France (Nuns)
  • Abbaye de la Joie Notre-Dame in Campénéac, France (Nuns)
  • Notre-Dame du Sacré-Cœur de Chambarand in Roybon, France (Nuns)
  • Abbaye Notre-Dame de Cîteaux in Saint-Nicolas-lès-Cîteaux, France (Monks)
  • Abbaye Sainte-Marie du Désert in Bellegarde-Sainte-Marie, France (Monks)
  • Abbaye Notre-Dame de Bonne-Espérance in Échourgnac, France (Nuns)
  • Monastère Notre-Dame des Gardes in Saint-Georges-des-Gardes, France (Nuns)
  • Abbaye Notre-Dame de la Trappe in Soligny-la-Trappe, France (Monks)
  • Monastère Notre-Dame de la Coudre in Laval, France (Nuns)
  • Abbaye Notre-Dame de Melleray in La Meilleraye-de-Bretagne, France (Monks)
  • Monastère du Jassonneix in Meymac, France (Nuns)
  • Abbaye Sainte-Marie-du-Mont in Godewaersvelde, France (Monks)
  • Abbaye Notre-Dame-des-Neiges in St-Laurent-les-Bains, France (Monks)
  • Abbaye Notre-Dame d'Oelenberg in Reiningue, France (Monks)
  • Abbaye Notre-Dame du Port-du-Salut in Entrammes, France (Monks)
  • Abbaye Sainte-Marie du Rivet in Auros, France (Nuns)
  • Abbaye Notre-Dame de Sept-Fons in Dompierre-sur-Besbre, France (Monks)
  • Abbaye Notre-Dame de Tamié in Plancherine, France (Monks)
  • Abbaye Notre-Dame de Timadeuc in Bréhan, France (Monks)
  • Abbaye Notre-Dame de Saint-Joseph d'Ubexy in Charmes, France (Nuns)
  • Abbaye Notre-Dame du Val d'Igny in Arcis-le-Ponsart, France (Nuns)
  • Kloster Gethsemani at Donnersberg near Dannenfels, Germany (Nuns)
  • Trappistinnenabtei Maria Frieden in Dahlem, Germany (Nuns)
  • Mariawald Abbey in Heimbach, Germany (Monks)
  • St. Mary's Abbey in Glencairn near Lismore, County Waterford, Ireland (Nuns)
  • Mellifont Abbey in Collon, Ireland (Monks)
  • Mount Melleray Abbey in Cappoquin, Ireland (Monks)
  • Mount St. Joseph Abbey in Roscrea, Ireland (Monks)
  • Monastero Cistercense “Madonna dell’Unione” di Boschi in Monastero di Vasco, Italy (Monks)
  • Abbazia Nostra Signora del Santissimo Sacramento in Frattocchie, Italy (Monks)
  • Abbazia delle Tre Fontane in Rome, Italy (Monks)
  • Monastero di N.S. di Valserena in Guardistallo, Italy (Nuns)
  • Monastero Trappiste Nostra Signora di San Giuseppe in Vitorchiano, Italy (Nuns)
  • Abdij O.L. Vr. van Koningsoord in Arnhem, Netherlands (Nuns)
  • Abdij O. L. Vr. van Sion in Diepenveen, Netherlands (Monks)
  • Cisterciënser Abdij Lilbosch in Echt, Netherlands (Monks)
  • Abdij O.L.Vrouw van Koningshoeven in Berkel-Enschot, Netherlands (Monks)
  • Abdij Maria-Toevlucht in Klein Zundert, Netherlands (Monks)
  • Munkeby Abbey near Levanger, Norway (Monks)
  • Tautra Mariakloster in Frosta, Norway (Nuns)
  • Monasterio Santa MarÍa de San José in Alloz-Estella, Spain (Nuns)
  • Monasterio de Santa María la Real near Arévalo, Spain (Nuns)
  • Monasterio de Armenteira in Armenteira, Spain (Nuns)
  • Monasterio Cisterciense de Santa Ana in Avila, Spain (Nuns)
  • Monasterio Santa Maria de Gratia Dei in Benaguacil, Spain (Nuns)
  • Monasterio de San Pedro de Cardeña in Castrillo del Val, Spain (Monks)
  • Monasterio de Santa María de Carrizo in Carrizo de La Ribera, Spain (Nuns)
  • Monasterio de Santa María de las Escalonias in Hornachuelos, Spain (Monks)
  • Monasterio de Santa María de Huerta in Santa María de Huerta, Spain (Monks)
  • Monasterio de Santa María la Real de la Oliva in Carcastillo, Spain (Monks)
  • Monasterio Nuestra Señora de la Paz in La Palma, Cartagena, Spain (Nuns)
  • Monasterio de Monte Sión in Toledo, Spain (Monks)
  • Monastery of Santa María la Real of Oseira in Oseira, Spain (Monks)
  • Monasterio de San Isidro de Dueñas in San Isidro de Dueñas, Spain (Monks)
  • Monasterio de Santa María de Sobrado in Sobrado, Spain (Monks)
  • Monasterio de Santa María de la Caridad in Tulebras, Spain (Nuns)
  • Abadía de Santa María de Viaceli in Cóbreces, Spain (Monks)
  • Monasterio de Nuestra Señora de Vico in Arnedo, Spain (Nuns)
  • Monasterio de Santa María de Cenarruza in Cenarruza, Spain (Monks)
  • Abbaye Notre-Dame de la Fille-Dieu in Romont, Switzerland (Nuns)
  • Monastère Notre Dame de Géronde in Sierre, Switzerland (Nuns)
  • Caldey Abbey on Caldey Island, Wales (Monks)
  • Mount Saint Bernard Abbey near Coalville, England (Monks)
  • Sancta Maria Abbey in Nunraw, Scotland (Monks)
  • Holy Cross Abbey in Whitland, Wales (Nuns)
  • Our Lady of Bethlehem Abbey in Portglenone, Northern Ireland (Monks)
  • Latin America

  • Abadía Nuestra Señora de los Angeles in Azul, Argentina (Monks)
  • Monasterio de la Madre de Cristo Hermanas Trapenses in Hinojo, Argentina (Nuns)
  • Mosteiro Trapista Nossa Senhora da Boa Vista in Rio Negrinho, Brazil (Nuns)
  • Nossa Senhora do Novo Mundo in Campo do Tenente, Brazil (Monks)
  • Monasterio Sta Maria de Miraflores in Rancagua, Chile (Monks)
  • Monasterio Nuestra Señora de Quilvo in Curicó, Chile (Nuns)
  • Monasterio Santa Maria del Evangelio in Jarabacoa, Dominican Republic (Monks)
  • Monasterio de Santa María de la Esperanza in Esmeraldas, Ecuador (Nuns)
  • Monasterio de Santa María del Paraíso in Latacunga, Ecuador (Monks)
  • Monasterio Santa Maria de la Paz in Santo Tomás, Nicaragua (Nuns)
  • Monasterio N.S. de Coromoto in El Tocuyo, Venezuela (Nuns)
  • Monasterio Nuestra Señora de los Andes in El Vigía, Venezuela (Monks)
  • North America

  • Notre-Dame de l'Assomption Abbey in Rogersville, New Brunswick, Canada (Nuns)
  • Abbaye N.-D. du Bon Conseil in Saint-Benoît-Labre, Quebec, Canada (Nuns)
  • Notre Dame du Calvaire Abbey in Rogersville, New Brunswick, Canada (Monks)
  • Monastère N.-D. de Mistassini in Dolbeau-Mistassini, Quebec, Canada (Monks)
  • Our Lady of the Prairies Abbey in Holland, Manitoba, Canada (Monks)
  • Abbaye Val Notre-Dame in Saint-Jean-de-Matha, Quebec, Canada (Monks)
  • Abbey of Notre-Dame du Lac in Oka, Quebec, Canada (Monks), now defunct
  • Assumption Abbey in Ava, Missouri, United States (Monks)
  • Holy Cross Abbey in Berryville, Virginia, United States (Monks)
  • Monastery of the Holy Spirit in Conyers, Georgia, United States (Monks)
  • Our Lady of the Angels Monastery in Crozet, Virginia, United States (Nuns)
  • Our Lady of the Genesee Abbey in Piffard, New York, United States (Monks)
  • Abbey of Gethsemani in Bardstown, Kentucky, United States (Monks)
  • Our Lady of Guadalupe Abbey in Carlton, Oregon, United States (Monks)
  • Abbey of the Holy Trinity in Huntsville, Utah, United States (Monks)
  • Mepkin Abbey in Moncks Corner, South Carolina, United States (Monks)
  • Our Lady of the Mississippi Abbey in Dubuque, Iowa, United States (Nuns)
  • New Melleray Abbey in Peosta, Iowa, United States (Monks)
  • Our Lady of the Redwoods Abbey in Whitethorn, California, United States (Nuns)
  • Santa Rita Abbey in Sonoita, Arizona, United States (Nuns)
  • St. Benedict's Monastery in Snowmass, Colorado, United States (Monks)
  • St. Joseph's Abbey in Spencer, Massachusetts, United States (Monks)
  • Abbey of New Clairvaux in Vina, California, United States (Monks)
  • Mount St. Mary's Abbey in Wrentham, Massachusetts, United States (Nuns)
  • Abadía Madre de Dios El Encuentro Rincón de San Jerónimo in Ciudad Hidalgo, Mexico (Nuns)
  • Monasterio Cisterciense Virgen del Curutarán in Jacona, Mexico (Monks)
  • Oceania

  • Tarrawarra Abbey in Yarra Glen, Australia (Monks)
  • Southern Star Abbey in Takapau, New Zealand (Monks)
  • References

    Trappists Wikipedia