In the 1930s, the abbey of En-Calcat, in the Tarn, bought the ruins of an old monastery, the monastery of Madiran, then abandoned for three hundred years. Work was started, and soon the community of En-Calcat sent monks with the aim of establishing a stable monastic life. In 1939, the monastery of Madiran was already independent from the abbey of En-Calcat!
Unfortunately, the community was cut off in its tracks with the arrival of the Second World War... The monks were forced to separate and leave the monastery. But they have at heart to find each other again, and well before the end of the war, in 1941, they are back! They then opened a novitiate: it was a great success, and the number of vocations was increasing! The buildings soon became too small...
The monks then leave Madiran, direction... Tournay! It is the perfect place for the monks: 5 hectares of land, close to a river, and especially to Lourdes!
Thus, the first stone of Tournay Abbey was laid in July 1951, and one year later the first mass was celebrated there!
As time went by, the monks launched expansion works, notably to offer a hotel. Everything happens quite quickly, and in 1970 the monks decide to send some monks to found a monastery in their turn in Goiàs, 250 km west of Brasilia.
But finally, in 2009, it was the Brazilian monks who came to Tournay.
Today, the community has 18 Benedictine monks, some of whom are Brazilian. The monks are faithful to their vocation of welcoming, and continue to open their doors to pilgrims and visitors passing through.
They follow the rule of St. Benedict: "ora et labora" (pray and work!). The two main pillars of the rule are observed to the letter:
Prayer: the monks have five daily offices, the first one being at 6:20 am! They also have plenty of time to recollect themselves and develop personal prayer.
work: it is de rigueur at Tournay Abbey, where the monks live by the work of their hands. Their specialty: fruit pastes! Since 1971, the monks have been making fruit jellies with a wide variety of flavors.
Good to know...
The abbey is built in such a way that in order to enter it, it is necessary to cross a small wooden bridge, to cross the river Arros. This is not at all trivial, but on the contrary very thoughtful by the monks who built the abbey. It is a way of signifying the rupture between the world and the monks, who have chosen to consecrate their lives to God, and for this reason to leave everything.
Even if one would be tempted to pronounce the name of the abbey "Tournè", in fact this is not correct. The name of the abbey is pronounced "Tournaille": it is from Bigourdans, a dialect of the region of Bigorre.
All the fruit pastes of the Tournay abbey are "pure fruit" and are made with the pulp of the fruit itself, without any addition of coloring or aromas. In short, real fruit pastes! To be found of course on the spot at the store...
Tournay Abbey products are available on site at the abbey, in stores all over France, as well as online at Divine Box : https://divinebox.fr/categorie-produit/producteurs/abbaye-de-tournay/
Notre-Dame de Tournay Abbey,
Tel: 05 62 35 70 21
Translated with www.DeepL.com/Translator