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B. THEOBALD, ABBOT

HE was by his virtue the great ornament of the illustrious family of Montmorency in France. He was born in the castle of Marli. His father, Bouchard of Montmorency, gave him an education suitable to his birth, and trained him up to the profession of arms, in which so many heroes of that family have signalized themselves. But Theobald manifested from his infancy a strong inclination to a state of holy retirement, dreading the least shadow of danger which could threaten his innocence. He spent great part of his time in prayer, and resorted often to the church of the nunnery called Port-Royal, which had been founded in 1204 by Matthew of Montmorency, and on which his father Bouchard had bestowed so many estates that he was regarded as a second founder. Theobald took the Cistercian habit at Vaux de Cernay in 1220, and was chosen abbot of that house in 1234. He lived in the midst of his brethren as the servant of every one, and surpassed all others in his love of poverty, silence, and holy prayer. He was highly esteemed by St. Lewis. His happy death happened in 1247. His shrine in his abbey is visited by a great concourse of people on the Whitsun-holidays. His solemn festival is there kept on the 8th, and in some places on the 9th of July, probably the day on which the first translation of his relics was made. The Bollandists defer his life to the 8th of December, the day of his death. See Le Nain, Histoire de Citeaux, t. 9.








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