Our work

At the end of 2014, having closed our reprography/micrography workshop, we looked for an artisan activity that would involve the whole community and enable us to sell, in our store, a quality product.

The idea of beer was launched… At the time, it seemed a daring gamble! But several providential encounters led us to recognize that the idea was the right one, and that such a project was blessed by the Lord.

a community adventure

Early 2015: two brothers go to Douai for training. At the same time, a beer expert teaches four brothers the art of beer tasting, with a view to drawing up specifications. For over a year, the brewing brothers – using rudimentary equipment – developed an original recipe for a French monastic beer. At the same time, other brothers worked on the choice of bottle, the design of the label and the economic and financial aspects of the project.

By early 2016, we were ready: the premises were fitted out, the equipment installed, and we started brewing at the beginning of June! The brewery is officially inaugurated on December 1.

A richly illustrated mook has been produced to retrace this wonderful adventure: the Saint-Wandrille brewery. It is available in the store or online.

A successful bet!

Success was immediate and sales are increasing rapidly. One of the challenges we’ll be facing very soon will be to resist the increase in production, so as not to lose the primacy of our monastic life!

discover Saint-Wandrille abbey beer

Beerologist’s opinion:
mousse : ivory, dense, good persistence
couleur : amber, predominantly orange, cloudy
nez : dominantly malty and toasty, cooked fruit, hints of caramel
bouche : sparkling attack, dominated by malt. This is followed by the gradual development of a hoppy bitterness that grows in intensity. It is accompanied by notes of dried fruit, caramel and a hint of licorice. The bitter finish does not, however, overshadow the fruity character and toasted malt. Long aftertaste.

In summer, the brothers also offer a blond/white beer: Sicera Humolone.


A restoration center for painted works

“Restoration must aim to re-establish the potential unity of the work of art, provided that this is possible without committing an artistic or historical forgery, and without erasing any trace of the work’s passage through time” (Cesare Brandi, Theory of Restoration, 1963)

Conservation and restoration : oils on canvas, oils on panel, icons, and other supports (copper, alabaster).
In a privileged setting combining expertise, security and confidentiality.

Three principles underpin our approach:

  • legibility, re-establishing a coherent reading of the work and making it possible to closely discern a restoration
  • stability of the materials used, taking into account where the work will be stored
  • reversibility of the materials used, with no long-term risk to the original paintwork

All work begins with an in-depth examination, often involving a multi-disciplinary team, in order to establish a complete photographic file for each work, based on an analysis:

  • direct light
  • low-angled light
  • UV fluorescence
  • infrared light

These different approaches make it possible to draw up a technical file:

  • the extent of previous interventions (refinishing, repainting, unsuitable materials, etc.)
  • identifying damage and its causes
  • an attempt to date the various components of the work: stretcher, canvas, preparation, paint layer, craquelure, etc.
  • knowledge of the artist (discovery of a monogram or signature) or a school
  • knowledge of the materials used (analysis of varnishes, glues or binders, stratigraphic analysis of pigments and preparations)

This technical file determines the extent of the work to be carried out:

  • Conservation essentially consists of halting the deterioration of a painting by taking all necessary steps to prolong its existence and enable it to be passed on to future generations. As part of preventive conservation, owners are always made aware of the work’s location and conservation conditions.
  • De-restoration of the work is often necessary, where possible, due to previous inappropriate interventions, in order to restore its original integrity: removal of unjustified lining, cleaning of the ceruse mastics applied to the reverse of the canvas as a consolidant, etc. Sometimes, de-restoration will not take place when the additions are integrated in order to respect the history of the object.
  • Restoration in the strict sense of the word is never a neutral intervention, and always entails subjective choices, but must essentially aim to restore the work to its potential unity and legibility, in a historical present. Restoration also depends on where the work is stored. The various interventions include: consolidation and treatment of the original stretcher (for a panel, treatment and consolidation), resorption of tears, dents and gaps in the canvas and, where the canvas is fragile, the possibility of lining or lining, and fixing of the paint layer where there are numerous breaks in adhesion. Cleaning can be either mechanical or chemical; it consists of scouring, lightening or removing varnish from the paint layer, removing overpainting or any other additions, filling in any gaps with putty, reintegrating the gaps through various retouches, and finally varnishing.

Établissement d’un devis en deux exemplaires et d’un certificat de dépôt de l’œuvre.


This activity was born and developed within Fontenelle Microcopie until the end of 2014. It is now integrated into Ascendi. It mainly involves archive boxes, but also aperture cards with microfilm, industrial plans, CD/DVDs and other media.


For more than 30 years, our late brother Jacques Marcotte has been methodically compiling all French translations of complete works or extracts from the Latin, Greek and Eastern Fathers.
This repertory of 12,363 records (RTF) is a unique source of information on the religious literature of Antiquity and the early Middle Ages, since it is the first time that partial translations have been taken into account. In terms of its scope, the RTF has no equivalent in the French-speaking world or in other linguistic areas.

Easy search

RTF - search

Mr. Benoît Gain (Université de Grenoble Alpes), has worked to make it easier for researchers to use, notably by compiling a list of acronyms and abbreviations, and writing a general presentation of the whole:

  • Search screen with several searchable fields (author, title, reference) for precise searches.
  • Dual-language search interface (English – French)

From summer 2017, records concerning the Greek Fathers are searchable in RTF. In 2018, an update has enriched the database with the Latin Fathers, the Eastern Fathers and the Apocrypha.

Who are the Fathers of the Church?

All Christian writers of the first centuries, whether their works are preserved in Latin, Greek, Syriac or any other language of the Christian Near East:

  • Greek fathers: 6180
  • Latin fathers: 3836
  • Oriental fathers: 1700
  • Apocrypha: 647

The chronological limit extends to the early 9th century.

Which texts are referenced in the RTF?
RTF - answer

All Christian writers of the first centuries, whether their works are preserved in Latin, Greek, Syriac or any other language of the Christian Near East:

  • Concerning languages: texts originally written in Greek, Latin, Syriac, Coptic (several dialects), Armenian and, in very limited numbers for the period under consideration, Georgian, Ethiopian and Arabic.
  • As for the nature of the texts::- literary texts, by far the most numerous, in multiple literary genres of prose (theological treatises, homilies and sermons, letters, catecheses, didactic works) and poetry (epics, hymns, epigrams, epitaphs, some texts for the stage)- canonical and legal texts (laws and regulations of the Roman emperors)- some Gnostic texts discovered before 1945, such as the thirteen codices found at Nag Hammadi- all literary genres representative of hagiography, liturgy, geography, chronology and computation- also apocrypha, in the sense of intertestamental writings and Christian apocrypha, the Christian hand sometimes confining itself to interpolations of an original Jewish or Judaizing text
    Brother Marcotte has followed both Claves (Clavis Apocryphorum Veteris Testamenti and Clavis Apocryphorum Novi Testamenti).

The chronological limit extends to the early 9th century.

The store offers a bookshop, CDs (Gregorian chant, organ and religious music), religious crafts, a wide range of honey products, handicrafts made by some 30 religious communities and products from Normandy.

You’ll also find traditional Saint-Wandrille wax and beer brewed by the monks!

From the very beginning

On March 1, 649, Wandrille founded our monastery on the site of a mill on the Fontenelle river, built by a certain Rotmarus. Over the following centuries, and as numerous documents testify from the 12th century onwards, the abbey owned a large number of water mills in the village, Rançon, Sainte-Gertrude and Caudebec, not to mention the mill inside the abbey.

This “moulin de l’enclos de l’abbaye”, a mill for grinding wheat to make bread for the monks and for alms, is mentioned in texts from 1581, 1598 and 1608. It still appears on a 1656 plan, at the bottom of today’s main courtyard. The mill was accompanied by a bakery and a brewery for community use. It seems, however, that it was no longer used after 1680, and was demolished before 1700. There was also a “Moulin de l’Aumônerie” to the east of the fence, upstream on the Fontenelle, which disappeared around the same time.

The monks who regained possession of the monastery in 1894 did not immediately recreate an “industrial activity” at the abbey. Indeed, they were soon forced into exile in 1901. It was not until the monks returned in 1931 that industrial activity reappeared in the monastery.


To support itself, the community set up a wax factory in 1935, offering a wide range of care products for wood, leather, glass and marble. These products are sold under the brand names Melitta (Greek for bee), Stilba (from the Greek verb stilbô: to shine) and Cristallogène.

Antiquarian wax soon became highly reputed, and the business grew in size. Employees had to be hired so that the monks could maintain the rhythm of their monastic life.

Then came the supermarkets. Drugstores, the company’s most loyal customers, gradually ceased to exist. What’s more, handling turpentine was dangerous, and sooner or later it would have to be brought up to standard. It was therefore decided to sell the business, while retaining ownership of the brand and recipe.

The wax factory was officially closed in 1993. Saint-Wandrille wax is still made according to the monks’ original recipe, but no longer within the monastery.

Fontenelle Microcopie

This was an opportunity for the community to think about a parallel activity. The idea was chosen: microcopy. The activity involved digitizing documents and putting them on microfilm.

It was an immediate success, so much so that the monks once again had to make way for employees.

Then the Internet arrived, and with it the technological boom, and microfilm was unable to maintain its place as a backup medium. As a result, the company’s business declined sharply.

However, the Abbey managed to find a buyer in 2014 and ensure that no employees were made redundant. The business moved to Le Havre.


To ensure the abbey’s day-to-day upkeep, meet the needs of the monks and participate in restoration work, the community has set up Ascendi, a financial holding company which groups together the economic activities of picture restoration, the brewery and the boutique.