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Lérins continued through several centuries to supply from its monks bishops for the chief churches of Southern Gaul, and to them perhaps may be traced the general diffusion of St. There, as also in Switzerland, it had to contend with and supplement the much stricter Irish or Celtic Rule introduced by St. In other monasteries it entirely displaced the earlier codes, and had by the end of the eighth century so completely superseded them throughout France that Charlemagne could gravely doubt whether monks of any kind had been possible before St. The authority of Charlemagne and of his son, Louis the Pious, did much, as we shall presently see, towards propagating the principles of the Father of western monachism. Augustine and his monks established the first English Benedictine monastery at Canterbury soon after their arrival in 597.Other foundations quickly followed as the Benedictine missionaries carried the light of the Gospel with them throughout the length and breadth of the land. Benedict seemed to have taken possession of the country as his own, and the history of his order in England is the history of the English Church.Many of the episcopal sees of England were founded and governed by the Benedictines, and no less than nine of the old cathedrals were served by the black monks of the priories attached to them.Even when the bishop was not himself a monk, he held the place of titular abbot, and the community formed his chapter.
Maurus in 543, though it also has been strenuously upheld by many responsible writers.
From thence spread, hand in hand, Christianity and Benedictine monasticism, to Denmark and Scandinavia, and from the latter even to Iceland. In Switzerland the disciples of Columbanus had founded monasteries early in the seventh century, two of the best known being St.
In Spain monasteries had been founded by the Visigothic kings as early as the latter half of the fifth century, but it was probably some two or three hundred years later St. Mabillon gives 640 as the date of its introduction into that country (Acta Sanctorum O. Gall's, established by the saint of that name, and Dissentis (612), founded by St. The Celtic rule was not entirely supplanted by that of St.
The Bohemians and the Poles, nevertheless, owed their conversion respectively to the Benedictine missionaries Adalbert (d. 1058), whilst Bavaria and what is now the Austrian Empire were evangelized first by monks from Gaul in the seventh century, and later on by St. A few of the larger abbeys founded in these countries during the ninth and tenth centuries still exist, but the number of foundations was always small in comparison with those farther west.
Into Lithuania and the Eastern Empire the Benedictine Rule never penetrated in early times, and the great schism between East and West effectually prevented any possibilities of development in that direction.
Other Foundations Originating from, or Based upon, the Order.