Monks of Caldey Abbey belong to the Order of
Reformed Cistercians, an offshoot of the
Benedictine order, founded in 1098 by St Robert,
Abbot of Molesme in France. He and his followers
were concerned that the Benedictine order had
become too worldly and so founded a new abbey at
Citeaux (Cistercium), near Dijon, with the
intention of restoring the original purity of the
Rule of St Benedict.
Under the leadership of St Bernard of Clairvaux
during the 12th Century, the order founded new
monasteries all over Europe. Today there are
Cistercian monasteries throughout the world.
Cistercians are often referred to as Trappists,
deriving from a particularly austere Cistercian
Abbey at La Trappe in Normandy.
The monks of Caldey follow the strict lifestyle
of their order. They make vows of poverty,
chastity and obedience, observe a rule of silence
between the hours of 7pm to 7am and follow the
demanding timetable of prayer, study and work
shown in the table (right).
A glance at their daily routine shows that
monastic life is not for the fainthearted, but
for those with a genuine vocation it offers the
freedom and framework for a balanced and
fulfilling spiritual life.
TIMETABLE FOLLOWED BY THE MONKS OF CALDEY
meditation or study
||Work or Study
||Work or Study
The Cistercian Order in
Cistercian monks came to Caldey in 1929, they
were restoring a long tradition of Cistercian
monasticism in Wales. Before the dissolution of
the monasteries in 1536, there were 13 Cistercian
abbeys in Wales. Click on the chart, (right) to
enlarge it and find out more about the origins of
Caldey and the other Welsh Monasteries.
Order in Wales