20th – 21st c.


In 1892, the various monasteries of the Trappist movement met together to give birth to the Order of Cistercians of the Strict Observance, to which the Abbey of Cîteaux belongs today.

In 1898, 8 centuries after its foundation, monks from various monasteries took possession of Cîteaux to give new life to the Cistercian charism. This resumption caused much stress: the buildings were unsuitable, brothers coming from different communities had to learn to become one, poverty was great, and, during the First World War, the monastery became a hospital.

Setting up the business of cheese production dates from this period. The abbey experienced a significant spiritual renewal under the abbacy of Dom Godefroid Bélorgey (1933-1952): vocations flowed in and the economy stabilized. The years following the Council saw some important changes: the abbot of Cîteaux was no longer the abbot general of the Order, the former distinction between choir monks and lay brothers disappeared, the liturgy was reformed, and the spiritual value of the early Cistercian writings, still relevant today, was rediscovered.

In 1998, the celebration of the 9th centenary of the foundation of Cîteaux was marked by the renovation of the church and by a great assembly of monks and nuns: the large Cistercian family was happy to find itself in the process of a “Cistercian Pentecost.”




pdf  Letter of John-Paul II
Letter to the members of the Cistercian family on the occasion of the 9th centenary of the foundation of the Abbey of Cîteaux.
(The letter from John Paul II is available in English on the Vatican website.)



For some years, the community of Cîteaux has worked on a foundation in Norway. September 14, 2009, monastic life began in a modest establishment at Munkeby, in the diocese of Trondheim.