Monastery Notre-Dame d’Orient at Laval Roquecezière



The History of Our Monastery

Notre Dame d’Orient is an ancient marian shrine whose origins go back to about the year 1000. It is situated in the Rance valley, on the boundaries of Rouergue and Albi in the Aveyron department. It is located between Albi and Millau, 7 km from St Sernin sur Rance, in a splendid natural setting with wooded hills and rivers, where the silence of the place is conducive to recollection and prayer. Place of pilgrimage, first of all under the care of hermits under the patronage of the Knights of St John of Jerusalem (today the Order of Malta), it was then directed by a community of Capuchin Friars who built the Church in the XVIIth century. The magnificent altarpiece is listed. The Capuchin Friars were driven out at the Revolution, and Benedictine nuns of Perpetual Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament took over in 1825. Today the nuns continue the mission of welcoming pilgrims who come in numbers to honour and pray to Notre Dame d’Orient, or ‘Auriens’ (original spelling), the listening Virgin.

The Monastery today

The Monastery Notre-Dame d’Orient at Laval Roquecezière offer pilgrims daily Mass and the Divine Office – prayer of praise sung in Gregorian chant and in French, according to the Benedictine rhythm in which the day is divided between prayer and work. In line with the charism of the foundress, Mother Mectilde de Bar, the nuns together with lay people who wish, take it in turns to adore the Blessed Sacrament exposed on the altar. Two more significant pilgrimages take place each year – the fifth Sunday of Easter (i.e, the fourth Sunday after Easter) and Whit Monday, when a statue of Notre Dame d’Orient is carried in procession for 2 km. The feasts of the Virgin Mary are honoured by Marian celebrations with the meditative praying of the rosary, hymns and adoration. Our recently renovated guest house welcomes people for private or preached retreats.

Text of our Foundress, Mother Mechtilde de Bar

 “It is through the ministry of Mary that we enter into the holiness of interior life. Just as Jesus presents us to the Father, Mary presents us to Jesus. “No one can come to my Father except through me” says Our Lord in the Gospel. And no-one can go to Jesus unless our very holy Mother takes him there. Renew your devotion, your praise and your respect in this place to the adorable Virgin.

You saw his star and you came to adore Him. But for how long and to what extent should we adore? At all times of our life and with all our being … adoration needs to be perpetual because the same God that we adore in the Blessed Sacrament is continually present to us in all places. We must adore him in spirit and in truth: in spirit by holy interior recollection, in truth by ensuring that through our fidelity all our exercises become continual adoration. Draw deeply from God a reservoir of confidence and ask his pardon for the insult that you have commit in resisting his goodness. He is less offended by a sin than by the defiance of his mercy.

See yourself always as a little ball of wax in the hand of God, to be shaped according to his good pleasure. A child in the arms of his Father fears nothing : your soul and your whole being are surrounded by God. Rest in his immensity as in a place of safety and his gentle and loving providence will provide you with all your needs, his grace will strengthen you and his love draw you to Himself.”



  • Federation : Saint Sacrement
  • Diocese : Rodez
  • Ecclesiastical province : Toulouse

Contact our monastery

Monastère des Bénédictines
Notre-Dame d’Orient