Monazite paragenesis during low-grade metamorphism is poorly understood. The first unequivocal instance of the mineral having crystallized synchronously with compressional cleavage formation is reported. Compositionally, these monazites resemble diagenetic forms but differ texturally by displaying syntectonic microfabrics. Their predominant association with organic-walled fossils implies that organic material may play an important role in controlling the behaviour of light rare earth elements (LREE) during low-grade metamorphism, probably by releasing diagenetically sequestered LREE and organically bound phosphorus during thermal maturation (devolatilization), and/or by promoting a favourable environment for monazite precipitation. Potentially, such monazites could provide a powerful geochronometer for cleavage formation.