A Benedictine order founded at Cîteaux in 1098 by
General decline came in the fifteenth century, assisted by the Reformation and civil wars. Reform followed in the sixteenth century, not from Cîteaux but within congregations, notably the Feuillants* and Common and Strict Observance communities which were, however, dissolved entirely by the French Revolution. After the Bourbon restoration, the Strict Observance was revived by former members of La Trappe (Trappists*), insisting on contemplation, while the Common Observance took to teaching and pastoral duties. In 1892 both became completely separate, though fully Cistercian, and each continues widely established.
A.A. King, Cîteaux and Her Elder Daughters (1954); C. Bock, Les Codifications du droit cistercien (1955); L. Bouyer, The Cistercian Heritage (tr. E. Livingstone, 1958).