Mabillon was born in the town of Saint-Pierremont, then in the ancient Province of Champagne, now a part of the Department of Ardennes. The son of Estienne Mabillon (who died in 1692 at age 104) and his wife Jeanne Guérin, at the age of 12 he became a pupil at the Collège des Bons Enfants in Reims. Having entered the seminary in 1650, he left after three years and in 1653 became instead a monk in the Maurist Abbey of Saint-Remi. There his dedication to his studies left him ill, and in 1658 he was sent to Corbie Abbey to regain his strength. In 1663 he was transferred again to Saint-Denis Abbey near Paris, and the following year to the Abbey of Saint-Germain-des-Prés in Paris. This was a move which offered wide opportunities for scholarly acquaintances and Mabillon was to meet and work, among others, with Luc d'Achery, Charles du Fresne, Sieur du Cange, Étienne Baluze, and Louis-Sébastien Le Nain de Tillemont.