Prüm Abbey

[Prüm Abbey]Former Benedictine abbey in Prüm, Diocese of Trier. Germany. Founded by the Frankish widow Bertrada and her son Charibert, count of Laon, on 23 June 720. The first abbot was Angloardus. Prüm was the favourite monastery of the Carolingians and received large endowments and privileges. Pepin rebuilt the monastery and bestowed great estates upon it on 13 August 762. The king brought monks from Meaux under Abbot Assuerus to the monastery. The abbey church was consecrated on 26 July 799 by Pope Leo III. Charlemagne and succeeding emperors were liberal patrons of the abbey. Several of the Carolingians entered the religious life at Prüm. In 882 and 892 the monastery was plundered and devastated by the Normans, but soon recovered. The lands given to the abbey were so large that it became a principality. In 1017 Abbot Urald founded a collegiate foundation for twelve priests at Prüm. In 1190 Abbot Gerhard founded a house for ladies of noble birth at Niederprüm. The monastery cared for the poor and sick, and was a storehouse of learning.

The monastery declined in the 13th and 14th centuries eventually reaching a point that the monks split the house income but lived each on his own. In 1376 Charles IV put the abbey under control of the Diocese of Trier, Pope Boniface IX issued the same order in 1379, and Pope Sixtus IV did the same in 1473. The abbots fought to retain their independence but Pope Gregory XIII issued the final order on 24 August 1574. Improved administration of the house by the archdiocese led to a re-invigoration of the abbey. The monks tried again to gain their independence, but in 1801 Prüm fell to France, was secularized, its estates were sold, and Napoleon gave its buildings to the city. In 1815, Prüm became a possession of Prussia, and then part of modern Germany. The remaining monastic buildings are now used for the secondary school named the Regino-Gymnasium after the Abbot Regino of Prüm. The sandals of Christ are considered to be the most notable of the many relics of the church; they are mentioned by Pepin in the deed of 762. He is said to have received them from Rome as a gift of Pope Zachary or Pope Stephen II.

Monks of Prüm who are profiled on this site include