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Armand Jean le Bouthillier de Rancé

Rancé, Armand Jean le Bouthillier de (ärmäNˈ zhäN lə bōtēyāˈ də räNsāˈ) [key], 1626–1700, French religious reformer, founder of the Trappists. He was of a noble family, was well educated, and lived at court as a worldly priest. In 1664 he retired to the Cistercian abbey at LaTrappe, where he was already abbot in commendam (i.e., he received its revenues, but performed no duties). There, as regular abbot, he established a discipline stricter than the primitive Benedictine rule. In a few years LaTrappe was famous, and its reform spread; out of the movement came the Trappists.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.


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