South of Dijon, 3 hours from Paris and 2 hours from Lyon, the Abbey of Citeaux is the mother-house of the Cistercian Order. There are about 35 brothers here, 30 to 90 years old.
It all began in 1098 when a group of monks leave the Abbey of Molesmes to found the new community at Citeaux with Saint Robert, their abbot. The entire Cistercian family stems from this foundation. The Cistercians separated from the Benedictines, aspiring to greater poverty and solitude. A century later Saint Bernard founded the Abbey of Clairvaux in the same spirit, bringing a rich spirituality to the order. Solitude being an important point, silence is also present in the Cistercian life, favoring prayer at all times. Community prayer brings together the monks seven times throughout the day and in the middle of the night. As with the Benedictines, the Cistercians work for their living. The Abbey of Citeaux makes cheese similar to reblochon and sells it in the monastery store.
Our DMC in France can organize an encounter with a monk during your Catholic pilgrimage in France.