Thursday, 27 October 2016

Einsiedeln Abbey, Switzerland.


Text and Illustrations from Wikipedia - the free encyclopaedia,
unless otherwise stated.



English: Einsiedeln Abbey Church,
Switzerland.
Switzerland.
Photo: 29 November 2010.
Source: Own work.
Author: Roland zh.
(Wikimedia Commons)


English: Interior of Einsiedeln Abbey, Switzerland.
Français: Vue Intérieure.
Photo: 8 August 2011.
Source: Own work.
Author: Caro.ray.
(Wikimedia Commons)

Einsiedeln Abbey is a Benedictine Monastery, in the Town of Einsiedeln, in the Canton of Schwyz, Switzerland. The Abbey is Dedicated to Our Lady of The Hermits, the Title being derived from the circumstances of its Foundation, for the first inhabitant of the region was Saint Meinrad, a Hermit. It is a Territorial Abbey, and, therefore, not part of a Diocese, which is subject to a Bishop. It has been a major resting point, on the Way of Saint James, for Centuries.

Saint Meinrad was educated at The Abbey School, on Reichenau Island, in Lake Constance, Switzerland, under his kinsmen, Abbot Hatto and Abbot Erlebald, where he became a Monk and was Ordained a Priest. After some years at Reichenau, and at a dependent Priory, on Lake Zurich, he embraced an eremitical life and established his Hermitage on the slopes of Etzel Mountain. He died on 21 January 861 A.D., at the hands of two robbers, who thought that the Hermit had some precious treasures, but, during the next eighty years, the place was never without one or more Hermits emulating Meinrad's example. One of them, named Eberhard, previously Provost of Strasbourg, erected, in 934 A.D., a Monastery and Church there, of which he became the first Abbot.


English: Nave of The Abbatial Cathedral Saint Mauritius, Einsiedeln,
Canton of Schwyz, Central Switzerland.
Deutsch: Langhaus der Abteikathedrale Sankt Mauritius, Einsiedeln,
Kanton Schwyz, Zentral-Schweiz.
Photo: 29 January 2013.
Source: Own work.
Author: Zairon.
(Wikimedia Commons)

The Church was miraculously Consecrated, so the legend runs, in 948 A.D., by Christ, Himself, assisted by The Four Evangelists, Saint Peter, and Saint Gregory the Great. This event was investigated and confirmed by Pope Leo VIII and subsequently ratified by many of his successors, the last ratification being by Pope Pius VI, in 1793, who confirmed the acts of all his predecessors.


English: Einsiedeln Abbey, Switzerland.
Einsiedeln, Switzerland.
Photo: 26 January 2013.
Source: Own work.
Author: Roland zh.
(Wikimedia Commons)

In 965 A.D., Abbot Gregory, the third Abbot of Einsiedeln, was made a Prince of The Holy Roman Empire, by Emperor Otto I, and his successors continued to enjoy the same dignity up to the cessation of The Empire at the beginning of the 19th-Century. In 1274, the Abbey, with its dependencies, was created an Independent Principality by Rudolf I of Germany, over which the Abbot exercised Temporal as well as Spiritual jurisdiction. It continued as an Independent Principality until 1798, the year of the French invasion. The Abbey is now what is termed an Abbey Nullius, the Abbot having quasi-episcopal authority over the territory where the Monastery is built.

For the learning and piety of its Monks, Einsiedeln Abbey has been famous for a thousand years, and many Saints and scholars have lived within its walls. The study of Letters, Printing, and Music have greatly flourished there, and the Abbey has contributed largely to the glory of The Benedictine Order. It is true that discipline declined somewhat in the 15th-Century and The Rule became relaxed, but Ludovicus II, a Monk of Saint Gall, who was Abbot of Einsiedeln 1526-1544, succeeded in restoring the stricter observance.


English: The Choir of The Abbatial Cathedral Saint Mauritius, Einsiedeln,
Canton of Schwyz, Central Switzerland.
Deutsch: Chor der Abteikathedrale St. Mauritius, Einsiedeln,
Kanton Schwyz, Zentral-Schweiz.
Photo: 29 January 2013.
Source: Own work.
Author: Zairon.
(Wikimedia Commons)

In the 16th-Century, the religious disturbances, caused by the spread of The Protestant Reformation in Switzerland, were a source of trouble for some time. Zwingli, himself, was at Einsiedeln Abbey for a while, and used the opportunity for protesting against the famous Pilgrimages, but the storm passed over and the Abbey was left in peace. Abbot Augustine I (1600–1629) was the leader of the movement, which resulted in the erection of The Swiss Congregation of The Order of Saint Benedict, in 1602, and he also did much for the establishment of stricter observance in the Abbey and for the promotion of a high standard of scholarship and learning amongst his Monks.


Einsiedeln Abbey,
Switzerland.
Photo: 27 July 2006.
Source: Own work.
Author: Markus Bernet.
(Wikimedia Commons)

The Pilgrimages, which have never ceased since the days of Saint Meinrad, have tended to make Einsiedeln Abbey the rival even of Rome, The Holy House of Loreto and Santiago de Compostela, serving as a major stopping point on The Way of Saint James leading there. Pilgrimages constitute one of the features for which the Abbey is chiefly celebrated. The Pilgrims number around one million, from all parts of Catholic Europe or even further. The statue of Our Lady, from the 15th-Century, enthroned in the little Chapel erected by Eberhard, is the object of their Devotion. This Chapel stands within the great Abbey Church, in much the same way as The Holy House at Loreto, encased in marble and elaborately decorated.

14 September and 13 October are the chief Pilgrimage Days, the former being the Anniversary of the miraculous Consecration of Eberhard's Basilica, and the latter that of The Translation of Saint Meinrad's Relics from Reichenau Island to Einsiedeln Abbey, in 1039. The millennium of Saint Meinrad was kept there with great splendour in 1861, as well as that of The Benedictine Monastery, in 1934.

The great Church has been many times rebuilt, the last time by Abbot Maurus between 1704 and 1719. The last big renovation ended after more than twenty years in 1997. The Library contains nearly 250,000 volumes and many priceless Manuscripts. The work of the Monks is divided chiefly between Prayer, work and study. At Pilgrimage times, the number of Confessions heard is very large.


Saint Meinrad Arch-Abbey,
Indiana,
United States of America.
Photo: 23 June 2008.
Source: Own work.
Author: Chris Light.
Attribution: Chris Light at en.wikipedia.
(Wikimedia Commons)

Saint Meinrad Arch-Abbey, in Spencer County, Indiana, USA, was Founded by Monks from Einsiedeln Abbey, Switzerland, on 21 March 1854, and is home to approximately ninety-eight Monks. It is one of only two Arch-Abbeys in The United States and one of only nine in the World.

The Benedictine Community, at Saint Meinrad Arch-Abbey, consists of men who dedicate their lives to Prayer and work. They gather in Community five times a day — for Morning Prayer, Mass, Noon Prayer, Evening Prayer and Compline — to Pray for The Church and the World. Guests often join the Monks in Prayer in The Arch-Abbey.

Gregorian Chant is sung in The Canonical Hours of The Monastic Office, primarily in Antiphons, used to sing The Psalms, in the Great Responsories of Matins, and the Short Responsories of The Lesser Hours and Compline. The Psalm Antiphons of The Office tend to be short and simple, especially compared to the complex Great Responsories. In addition, the Monks spend private time reading Spiritual and Religious material. They live under The Rule of Saint Benedict, which are the 6th-Century A.D., instructions for Community Living, written by Saint Benedict.


This is a representation of the Coat-of-Arms of
Saint Meinrad Arch-Abbey,
in Saint Meinrad,
Indiana, United States of America.
Blazon: Azure, a Ship with one Sail, Argent, the Mast terminating in a Cross, the Sail charged with the Greek letters Chi Rho, Sable, resting on a Sea Barry Wavy of six, Argent and Azure; on a Chief, Or, two Eagles (Ravens ?) rising to Dexter, Sable. [1].
Date: 6 August 2012.
Source: Own work.
Author: Alekjds.
(Wikimedia Commons)

In 2013, the Community numbered sixty Monks. Attached to the Abbey are a Seminary and a College for about 360 Pupils, who are partially taught by the Monks, who also provide Spiritual Direction for six Convents of Religious Sisters.

In 1854, when the Monastery was again facing suppression, a colony was sent to The United States, from Einsiedeln, to minister to the local German-speaking population and to develop a place of refuge, if needed. Daughter Houses began to be Founded, the first being Saint Meinrad, Indiana, and, in 1881, these were formed into the Swiss-American Congregation, which, in 2013, comprised fourteen Monasteries from Canada, in the North, down to Guatemala, ten of which were directly Founded from Einsiedeln. In The Fall of 1887, Einsiedeln Abbey sent eight Novices, and one Professed Monk, to Subiaco, Arkansas. The Reverend Father Gall D'Aujourd'hui, O.S.B., is considered to be the Co-Founder of Subiaco Abbey and Academy.


English: The Nave,
Einsiedeln Abbey,
Switzerland.
Photo: 26 January 2013.
Source: Own work.
Author: Roland zh.
(Wikimedia Commons)

One of Einsiedeln Abbey's Apostolates is a School (Gymnasium), for the seventh- to twelfth-grades, which has existed in its present form since 1848. It is the continuation of a tradition of education that dates to the Early-Middle-Ages. Its distinguished Alumni include: Gall Morel; Franz Fassbind; Philipp Etter; Hans Hürlimann, and his son, Thomas Hürlimann; Bruno Frick; and Anatole Taubman.

Located in separate Cantons, Einsiedeln Abbey and Fahr Abbey, a Community of Benedictine Nuns, form a Double Monastery, both under the authority of the Abbot of Einsiedeln.

Einsiedeln Abbey's Library contains the Versus de scachis, the earliest mention of Chess in Western Literature.


Einsiedeln Abbey,
Switzerland.
Photo: 27 May 2009.
Source: Own work.
Author: Roland zh.
(Wikimedia Commons)

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