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date: 19 October 2019

Lérins Monasterylocked

Extract

Island monastery on Saint-Honorat, c. 3 km south-east of Cannes, France. It was founded c.ad 410 by St Honoratus of Arles (d 429), a Roman who had left northern Europe at the collapse of the empire, and it combined the traditions of the educated Roman élite and the ascetic desert fathers to create a centre of monastic spirituality and theology, a training ground for bishops and holy men unique in 5th-century Europe. At its height there were some 3700 monks living in solitary cells scattered across all four islands in the group. The Rule of St Benedict, introduced c. 661, brought a greater element of common life to Lérins and probably prompted the building of the cloisters. This golden age came to an end in 732 with the first Saracen invasion. Regular life was re-established at Lérins by the 11th century; the community accumulated vast estates and privileges, with some 60 dependent priories on the mainland. From ...

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