The Sacred Passage

When the bell rang, the monks gathered into the Passage, put on their white cowl, got hold of a hymn book – hymn books were kept in today's chapel – and then filed into the chancel of the church for the divine office.

The first 3 abbots of the monastery – Saint Raoul, Saint Richard and Saint Nicolas canonized by Pope Alexander III in 1179, were buried in the Passage.

The Vaucelles Abbey wasn't spared by the Hundred Year War or by robbery and violence. It was looted three times by the English under the reign of King Edward III  but thanks to the generosity of the Christian people and to the monks' unrelenting hard work Notre-Dame of Vaucelles rose from its ashes.

From 1484 on it became quite prosperous and it played an important part in the history of the 16th century. The monks' dormitary was on the first floor of the Monks' Quarters and had direct access to the chancel of the church. A small-scale model of the abbey as it was in the 15th century can be found in the Passage.

Le passage sacré