The Cistercian Order arose as a reform movement within the Benedictine tradition in the 12th century. The first Cistercian monastery was established in Citeaux, France in 1098 by Saints Robert, Alberic and Stephen.
Early in the Cistercian tradition, women sought the Cistercian way of life and the first Cistercian monastery for women was in Tart, France, a daughter house of Citeaux, founded by St Stephen in 1125.
St Malachy brought the Cistercians to Ireland in 1142, to Mellifont, County Louth.
St Mary's Abbey, Glencairn is the first Cistercian monastery for women in Ireland since the Reformation, founded in 1932 by Holy Cross Abbey, Stapehill, England.
Although in private ownership prior to our foundation, our monastery property once formed a portion of the episcopal lands held by the Celtic monks of Lismore. It was here in Lismore that St Malachy received his monastic formation.
Today, there are 31 community members in the community of St Mary's Abbey, Glencairn.
There are 2500 Cistercian monks and 1800 Cistercian nuns worldwide.
The Cistercian charism has drawn many lay people to form associations with our monasteries, finding greater spiritual depth and commitment through the integration of Cistercian spirituality and values into their daily lives. The Glencairn Associates was established in 2003.
We have made an unexpected discovery here at the Abbey!
Our builders went to
The Abbess and community would like to wish you all a Blessed and joyful Easter.