Trappists

Cistercian* monks of the reform instituted in 1664 by Armand Jean Le Bouthillier de Rancé,* abbot of La Trappe, a Cistercian abbey near Soligny, Normandy. One of the strictest orders, it emphasizes liturgical worship, demands absolute silence with no allowance for recreation, and imposes community life with a common dormitory. Meat, fish, and eggs are forbidden. The monks devote themselves to liturgical prayer and contemplation, theological study, and manual labor. Their habit is white with a black scapular and cowl. The order of nuns is called “Trappistines.” The expulsion of monks during the French Revolution led to Trappist foundations in other parts of Europe and in China, Japan, and the USA. In 1817 they returned to La Trappe, and in 1898 they recovered possession of Cîteaux Abbey which had been secularized during the Revolution, and they declared it the mother church of the Reformed Cistercians.