It was 1833, and Solesmes Abbey had long been abandoned and left in ruins. A young secular priest, Prosper Guéranger, a bishop’s secretary in Paris, learned that disaster was looming — Solesmes was slated to be destroyed for lack of a buyer.With his bishop’s approval and God’s grace, Guéranger collected enough money to rent the property, and moved in with three friends on July 11, 1833. He received a canonical dispensation to become a Benedictine monk, and soon had many French and English benefactors for this fledging community.
ShareIn 1837, Dom Gueranger went to Rome to ask for official recognition of the priory. Rome granted him instead recognition as an abbey, making Solesmes the head of the new Benedictine Congregation de France. On July 26, Dom Guéranger made his solemn profession in the presence of the Abbot of St. Paul Outside the Walls in Rome.Over the years, daughterhouses have been founded from Solesmes, in many cases old monasteries being restored: Ligugé (1853), Silos in Spain (1880), Glanfeuil (1892), and Fontanelle (1893); also new foundations at Marseilles(1865), Farnborough in England and Wisque (1895), Paris (1893), and Kergonan (1897). In the 20th century, sixteen more houses were founded. (Read more.)