noun \sis-ˈtər-shən\

Definition of CISTERCIAN

:  a member of a monastic order founded by St. Robert of Molesme in 1098 at Cîteaux, France, under Benedictine rule
Cistercian adjective


Medieval Latin Cistercium Cîteaux
First Known Use: 1611

Rhymes with CISTERCIAN


noun    (Concise Encyclopedia)

Member of a Roman Catholic monastic order founded by St. Stephen Harding (1098) at Cîteaux (Latin, Cistercium), Burgundy, by Benedictines dissatisfied with their abbey's laxity. Cistercians were severely ascetic, rejected feudal revenues, and engaged in manual labor. Uniform rules applied to all houses, and all abbots were to meet annually at Cîteaux. St. Bernard de Clairvaux founded 68 abbeys in his lifetime. Discipline declined as the order grew, and Cistercians disappeared from northern Europe after the Reformation. The order underwent reforms in the 16th–17th century; members of the reformed order are popularly known as Trappists after the abbey of La Trapp. Until the 1960s, they slept, ate, and worked in perpetual silence. The original order, which underwent more moderate reforms, also survives.

Variants of CISTERCIAN

Cistercian or White Monk or Bernardine


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