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Valliscaulian Order

Founded towards the end of the twelfth century by Viard, a lay brother of the Carthusian priory of Loubigny, in the Diocese of Langres

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* Published by Encyclopedia Press, 1913.

Valliscaulian Order ("Vallis Caulium", or "Val-des-Choux", the name of the first monastery of the order, in Burgundy) was founded towards the end of the twelfth century by Viard, a lay brother of the Carthusian priory of Loubigny, in the Diocese of Langres. Viard was permitted by his superior to lead the life of a hermit in a cavern in a wood, where he gained by his life of prayer and austerity the reputation of a saint. The Duke of Burgundy, in fulfil-ment of a vow, built a church and monastery on the site of the hermitage; Viard became prior in 1193, and framed rules for the new foundation drawn partly from the Carthusian and partly from the Cistercian observance. The order of the "Brethren of the Cabbage-Valley" was formally confirmed by Pope Innocent III, on February 12, 1205, in a rescript preserved (in connection with one of the Scottish houses) in the Register of Moray, and entitled "Protectio Apostolica". In the same year Odo III, Duke of Burgundy, gave the brethren a large grant of forest land round the priory, which was further endowed by the Duke's successors, by the Bishops of Langres, and other benefactors. Helyot states, on the authority of Chopin (Traite des droits religieux et des monasteres, II, tit. i., no. 20), that there were thirty dependent houses of the order, but the names of only twenty are known. Seventeen of these were in France, the principal one being at Val-Croissant, in the Diocese of Autun; and the remaining three were in Scotland. References in the statutes of 1268 and elsewhere show that priories of the order existed also in Germany. A complete list of the priors-general has been preserved, from the founder Viard (also styled Guido), who died after 1213, to Dorothee Jallontz, who was also abbot of the Cistercian house of Sept-Fons, and was the last grand-prior of Val-des-Choux before the absorption of the Valliscaulian brotherhood into the Cistercian Order. In the middle of the eighteenth century there were but three inmates of the motherhouse; the revenues had greatly diminished, and there had been no profession in the order for twenty-four years. Gilbert, Bishop of Langres, strongly urged the remaining members to unite with the Cistercians, whose rule they had originally, in great part, adopted. The proposal was agreed to, the change was authorized by a Bull of Clement XIII in 1764, and Val-des-Choux was formally incorporated with Sept-Fons in March, 1764, the Parliament of Burgundy having previously ratified the arrangement. For the next quarter of a century the monastery flourished under its new conditions; but it was swept away in the Revolution of 1789, with the other religious houses of France. Of the three Scottish houses of the order, Ardchattan, Beauly, and Pluscarden, the first two became Cistercian priories, and the third a cell of the Benedictine Abbey of Dunfermline, a century before the dissolution of the monasteries in Scotland. (See Ardchattan, The Priory of; Pluscarden Priory.)

D. O. HUNTER-BLAIR


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