Congregation of Zirc of the Cistercian Order
In 1859, in the region of the former Habsburg Empire, the Congregatio Austriaca came into being, and the Cistercian Abbey of Zirc was part of it. The Austro-Hungarian Empire fell apart in 1918, and at the time, the Cistercians of Hungary had formed their own independent congregation to suit their particular circumstances. In 1923, Pope Pius XI established the Congregation of Zirc of the Cistercian Order, centred in Zirc with the Abbot of Zirc as its head. At the time, the following belonged to it: the abbey of Szentgotthárd, under the abbot of Zirc; also the monastic houses of Eger, Székesfehérvár, Pécs, Baja, Buda, and Előszállás, and the study house of Budapest. From 1947 to 1977, the American Spring Bank priory (located in Wisconsin, and as of 1963 an abbey), attended mostly by Hungarian Cistercians; from 1955 the priory of Dallas (an abbey as of 1963), founded by the Hungarian Cistercians; finally, in 1996, the abbey of the Cistercian sisters, The House of the Blessed Virgin at Kismaros, became a member of the Congregation of Zirc. After lengthy preparatory work, the constitution of the Congregation of Zirc was approved by the Holy See in 1941.
In Hungary, on 7 September 1950, the government prohibited the functioning of almost all the monastic orders, including that of the Cistercians. In 1989, when the monastic orders were again permitted to operate, the Congregation of Zirc needed a new constitution because of the changed circumstances, as there were two abbeys by then (Zirc and Dallas), and from 1996 a third abbey, that of Kismaros, which belonged to the Congregation. In 1991 and again in 2000, the Holy See approved the new constitution of the Congregation of Zirc. The president of the Congregation, its Abbot President, was always the abbot of Zirc, and the members of its general meetings and chapters were the governing abbots and the chosen delegates of the abbeys.
Zirc Rákóczi tér 1, Hungary 8420
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Date of founding
Type of organisation
- other non-profit organization
Author(s) of this page
- Pál, Zoltán