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From 1168 to 1306 : The difficulties of Maintaining a Casadeenne Congregation

At the time of Philippe-Auguste (1180-1223) the Auvergne was divided by rivalries between Plantagenets and Capetiens (to whom La Chaise-Dieu Abbey was loyal). The France of Saint Louis (1226-127) and that of Philippe le Bel (1285-1314) witnessed the strengthening of royal power.

In the XIIIth century, the church was preoccupied with, on one hand, the dispute between the Emperor and the Pope, and on the other hand with the organisation of the Crusades. Under the papacy of Innocent III (1198-1216) Saint Francis of Assisi, founder of the Franciscans came to prominence as did Saint Dominique of Guzmann, founder of the Dominicans, who attempted to convert the Albigeois or Cathars.

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La Chaise-Dieu’s dependent churches

Lavaudieu Lavaudieu Monastery was built by Saint Robert himself to house Benedictine monks and it was fully functional until the Revolution.

Saint-Nectaire Saint-Nectaire’s Church was constructed after Saint Robert’s Abbey church but it was intended to be very similar. From its inception it was served by Casadeenne monks, however this connection vanished in the XVIth century.

Brantôme Brantome Abbey, Perigord, was founded in the age of Charlemagne and formed part of the Casadeenne congregation from 1080 until the end of the XVIth century.

Faverney Faverny Abbey, was a very powerful abbey in Franche-Comte which belonged to the Casadeenne congregation from 1132 until 1613, shortly after the famous miracle of the Host.

FrassinoroFrassinoro was linked to La Chaise-Dieu in 1107, the aim being to distance this priory from Imperial claims as it stood on one of the routes linking the Po Valley to Tuscany. However, the Imperial bond was finally formed during the great schism at the end of the XIVth century.

The Ascendancy of worldliness

During this period, the congregation of La Chaise-Dieu elected no Abbot of notability but the Abbey’s own authoritarian role within the Livradois region grew stronger with worldly power playing a larger part. Moreover, some abbots made vigorous efforts to foster links with the abbey’s group of associated abbeys and priories but such connections were willingly disputed by the local lords or bishops. The Congregation increased in size and developed a more structured organisation with a clear designation of chapters and a definition of the role of cloistered officials.