Cistercian Order

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The Cistercian Order - Cistercian is pronounced si-STERSH-ern, IPA: /sɪs ˈtɜr ʃən/ - is a Roman Catholic religious order founded in 1098 when a group of Benedictine monks established an abbey in the village of Cîteaux near Dijon in eastern France. (The adjective Cistercian comes from Cistercium, the Latin name for the village of Cîteaux.) These monks felt that Benedictine monastic life had lost its original austerity and seriousness of purpose and wished to return to the simple way of life prescribed by their founder, St. Benedict (?480-?547). The Cistercian Order therefore follows a very strict form of the Rule of St. Benedict. It is an enclosed order which places a particular value on manual labour and self-sufficiency. There are Cistercian nuns and nunneries as well as Cistercian monks and abbeys.

Cistercian monks are sometimes referred to as White Monks from the colour of their habits.