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IX  The French Revolution

The French Revolution (1789) destroyed nearly all the monasteries in Europe except in Spain. The monks were forced to abandon monastic life. Dom Augustine de Lestranges, Abbot of La Trappe, fled with his monks to Switzerland and as far as Russia. After the Revolution, he came back to France to reestablish Cistercian life. He also sent a group of monks to America. During the 19th century, there were periods of anti-clericalism in France and many French monasteries thought of establishing refuges in the United States and in Canada. Our Lady of the Prairies was founded by the monks of the Abbey of Bellefontaine, located near Anger in France, as a refuge for the community in 1892.

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