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Roman Catholic Abbots and Abbesses

The heads of Roman Catholic monastic bodies are responsible for the spiritual and temporal well-being of their communities, and they play a vital role in the life of the Church. The earliest types of abbots were leaders of small communities of monks and nuns who lived in the desert regions of Egypt and Syria in the 4th century AD. These communities were dedicated to prayer, fasting, and study, and they played an important role in the development of early Christian spirituality. As Christianity spread throughout Europe, monasticism also
spread. Monasteries were established in all parts of the continent, and abbots and abbesses became important figures in both the religious and secular spheres. Many were advisors to kings and queens, and they played a leading role in the evangelisation of new peoples. They continued to play an important role in the Church and in society throughout the Middle Ages. Monasteries were centres of learning and culture, and their leaders were often patrons of the arts and sciences. Monasteries also played an important role in providing social services, such as care for the sick and the poor. In the 16th century, the Protestant Reformation led to the closure of many monasteries in Europe. However, monasticism continued to thrive in Catholic countries, and abbots and abbesses remained important figures in the Church. Today, there are over 1,000 Benedictine abbeys and monasteries in the world, and there are also many other monastic orders.

Abbeys and Monasteries
Name
Tenure
Belgium
Orval Abbey, Abbots of (Villers-devant-Orval, Florenville, Wallonia)
63rd
Lode Van Heck, Bp of Ghent
2007–; *1950
••••
England
Glastonbury Abbey, Abbots of (Somerset)
►Founded c. 601
►Destroyed 1184 - rebuilt
►To Diocese of Bath and Glastonbury 1192 - disputed  
►Regained independence 1242
Richard Whiting
1525–39†
••••
Abolished 1539
Germany
Cronschwitz Monastery, Abbesses of (Thuringia)
†1550    
Weida (1370)
Gernrode Abbey, Abbesses of (Harz, Saxony-Anhalt)
†1548  
Weida (1370)
Polling Abbey, Provosts of (Upper Bavaria)
1744–96†
••••
Spain
Santa Maria de Marcilla Monastery, Abbesses of (Navarra)
1376  
Gramont (1980)
Switzerland
Saint-Maurice d'Agaune Abbey, Abbots of (Valais)
1050–54†
Savoy (254)
1057; †1068
Savoy (254)
1067–68?; †1068
Savoy (254)
–1116; †1148
Savoy (254)
Saint-Maurice d'Agaune, Provosts of (Valais)
1002–>c. 1014; †1025
Anselmid (254)
1022?; †1068
Savoy (254)
1031; †1068
Savoy (254)
1046; †1054
Savoy (254)

Families | Lands Abbr. and Symbols | Roman Catholicism





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