Congregation of St. Maur, a congregation of French Benedictine monks. It was founded in 1618 (with the abbey of St. Germain-des-Pres in Paris as its center).
The Maurists played a prominent role in collecting and publishing Western European medieval manuscripts. Acting within the general framework of the Counter-Reformation, they set themselves the task of defending the authority of the Catholic Church (in particular, the Benedictine Order itself) from criticism by Protestants. Basing their work on a massive amount of manuscript material, they published a history of the Benedictine Order, multivolume histories of individual French provinces (such as Languedoc and Brittany), and a history of French literature (more than 40 volumes). They worked out principles for establishing the authenticity of the place and time of a document’s origins and laid the foundation for paleography, diplomatics, and other auxiliary historical disciplines. J. Mabillon and B. de Montfaucon were the most prominent Maurists. The Congregation was abolished in 1790.