Imbramowice - Poland - convent

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Sainte-Foy de Conques Abbey, France

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Premonstratensian Priory Magdeburg, Germany

 

 

The history of the Premonstratensian canons in Magdeburg began in 1129. In that year, the then archbishop and founder of the order, Norbert von Xanten, transferred ownership of the collegiate monastery “Unsere Lieben Frauen” to the Premonstratensian order.

The monastery of Our Lady is the oldest surviving building in Magdeburg. It was donated around 1017/18 by Archbishop Gero of Magdeburg. However, as far as is known, nothing of the original building has been preserved. The new building commissioned by Archbishop Werner (1063-1078) was completed in the 12th century by the Order of the Premonstratensians.

As a monastery of the Premonstratensians, it gained great importance, founded numerous daughter monasteries, produced an archbishop and seven bishops. Norbert was buried at his own request in 1134 in front of the cross altar in his favorite foundation.
Under Albrecht the Bear, the monastery received several villages as a gift in 1151. In the course of the further development of the order, the monastery already maintained connections to 16 subsidiary monasteries in 1180.

On Good Friday in 1207, the old Magdeburg Cathedral burned down. The Church of St. Mary of the Monastery of Our Lady was therefore hastily elevated to the status of a cathedral. Archbishop Albrecht I of Käfernburg celebrated mass here at Easter. In 1211 the Archbishop announced in this church the ban imposed by the Pope on Otto IV.

Remodeling took place between 1220 and 1240 to introduce Gothic elements. A ribbed vault was created in the central nave and groined vaults in the side aisles. However, the Romanesque character of the church was preserved.

Fountain house in the monastery garden
Fountain house in the monastery garden
In 1293 the monasteries in Brandenburg, Broda, Gottesgnaden, Gramzow, Havelberg, Jerichow, Kölbigk, Leitzkau, Mildenfurth, Pöhlde, Quedlinburg, Ratzeburg, Roda, Stade and Themnitz were subordinated to the monastery of Our Lady.

In 1349 Archbishop Otto von Hessen transferred the patronage of the Sankt-Ulrich-und-Levin-Kirche Magdeburg to the monastery. This was also associated with the patronage of all town churches.
During the Reformation, the monastery did not join the prevailing Reformation movement in Magdeburg, but remained Catholic.

The immunity of the monastery was recognized in the Augsburg Religious Peace of 1555. However, the situation of the monastery residents, who had become a small Catholic minority, remained difficult. In 1570, the monks decided not to wear their white religious robes outside the monastery.

Pope Gregory XIII In 1582 he canonized Norbert von Xanten, who was buried in the monastery’s Marienkirche. The tomb was then changed. The tomb was then west of the crypt. A marble tombstone was made.

The reopening of the Marienkirche took place on March 25, 1591 with a sermon by the evangelical preacher of Magdeburg Cathedral Siegfried Sack. It was the first evangelical sermon in this church.

After the last Catholic provost of the monastery died in 1597, the remaining Catholic conventuals left the monastery on April 4, 1601. The bones of Saint Norbert were left behind.

In 1626, the abbot of the Strahov monastery, Caspar von Questenberg, traveled to Magdeburg to transport Norbert’s bones to Prague. Although Magdeburg was being besieged by Wallenstein’s troops during the Thirty Years’ War, this undertaking was a success. In 1628, Caspar von Questenberg forced the return of the monastery to the Premonstratensians by order of the emperor. In fact, three monks from Bohemia and six monks from the Netherlands moved back into the monastery.

During the storming and extensive destruction of Magdeburg by imperial troops under Tilly on May 10, 1631, the monastery was only relatively slightly damaged. On the part of the attackers, the monastery was treated separately and protected from looting.

In 1632 the canons who had been drafted in 1628 finally left the monastery.

In the years that followed, the final transformation into a Protestant canon monastery took place, in which the Latin breviary was prayed until 1776. 1834 Conversion of the scholars’ school, which had existed since the end of the 17th century, into a pedagogical school, which was held in high esteem until it was destroyed in 1945. A museum was set up in the monastery during GDR times, and the church has since been used as a concert hall.

Sint-Catharinadal Priory, Oosterhout, Netherlands

Strahov Monastery, Prague, Czech Republic

Located in the diocese of Rodez, in Aveyron, Sainte-Foy de Conques abbey is now a priory attached to Mondaye abbey since 1992.

The Brothers (2018)

The foundation of the abbey dates back to the 8th century, with the hermit Dadon. The prosperity of the abbey is associated with the relics of Saint Foy, sheltered in Conques around 866. The abbey becomes a major stage on the way to Compostela from Puy-en-Velay, the via Podensis. to discoverthe famous tympanum of the abbey church of Conques visit the website of Ambroise and Pierre Séguret: http://www.art-roman-conques.fr

Nearly a thousand years after its foundation, in 1873, the Premonstratensians of Saint-Michel de Frigolet answered the call of the Bishop of Rodez and brought the sanctuary back to life. In addition to pastoral activities at the service of the parish community, the Premonstratensian community ensures the permanence of the choral office in the abbey. She is the guardian of the relics and the treasure of Sainte Foy, she is in charge of welcoming pilgrims on the way to Saint Jacques and offers spiritual animation of the sanctuary.

To find out more, open the slideshow from 2011 produced by the weekly  Pèlerin  or read the article from the daily La Croix: Conques, the rich stopover for pilgrims

It is from this long history that our Community of Mondaye feels heir since 1992, in the continuity of the testimony of the Premonstratensians of Frigolet.

The Christian inspiration that has sustained the spiritual search in this high place for so many generations of hermits, monks and canons is still relevant today. A crowd of tourists, visitors for an hour or a day, and more and more pilgrims to Compostela stop there every year. 

The Premonstratensians reached Bohemia thanks to Olomouc bishop Jindřich Zdík with the generous support of King Vladislav II. and his wife Gertrude. The first religious from the German Steinfeld were invited to Strahov in Prague in 1142. Litomyšl (1145) and Hradisko (1150) were soon founded from Strahov. Also in 1190, Louka near Znojmo monastery was founded, Teplá in 1193 and later Zábrdovice in 1209. From Zábrdovice, a nunnery was founded in Nové Říš (1211), which became an abbey in 1733 – already as a male canonry. Another foundation in Bohemia also arose from Steinfeld, namely Želiv (1149), from where Milevsko was founded in 1187. Apart from the New Kingdom, these were Doksana (shortly after Strahov, around 1143-1144), Louňovice (around 1150), Kounice (1181) and Chotěšov (in the first decade of the 13th century).

In 1126, Norbert’s place at the head of the order was succeeded by his closest associate Hugo de Fosses, who in 1128 became abbot in Premontré. His main task was to impress upon the Order a uniform structure. Until then, the individual communities formed rather independent communities. Hugo created a unified organization and structure for the order, governed by general chapters. The order was headed by the abbot general, who was always the abbot of Prémontré until the French Revolution. A general chapter was held once a year in Prémontré, where current affairs of the order were discussed. In Hugo’s editorial office, the first Statutes – Stanovy were created, probably shortly after he became abbot in Prémontré.

In the 13th century, the order was divided into circariae (associations of monasteries based on regional or linguistic considerations). The Abbot General exercised legal authority over all circaria. The division into circaria is applied to the present, as well as the basic elements of the structure of the order.

Similar to the history of the church, we can trace the period of prosperity and decline and subsequent growth in the history of the Premonstratensian order. The greatest boom of the order was the period up to the 14th century, when monasteries not only in number (more than 3,000 monasteries), but also in the quality of their life and their activities contributed to deepening the religious and cultural growth of their near and far surroundings. In the 15th and 16th centuries, a crisis occurs in the order, caused by both external (reformation, in our territory the Hussite war) and internal (decline of community life, installation of not always suitable superiors – the institute of so-called commandantary abbots). In the 17th century, some circaria acquire the rights of general chapters, which had the effect of weakening the centralization of the order. Nevertheless, until the last quarter of the 18th century, one can speak of its stabilization. During the following decades, the Premonstratensians suffered extensive destruction of monasteries: in France, it involved violent liquidation at the time of the French Revolution (Prémontré was abolished in 1790), in the countries of the Habsburg Monarchy, the often insensitive church-reform interventions of Joseph II, and in Germany, secularization in as part of war reparations in the first years of the 19th century. After 1835, only 9 men’s and 6 women’s monasteries remained in the entire order. In this period, however, efforts to restore order and religious life are again evident. Not all efforts were successful, but religious life is returning to Belgium, France, Germany, etc. Order unity was restored thanks to Pope Pius IX. and Leo XIII, who summoned all the abbots to a general chapter in Vienna in 1883. The Strahov abbot Zikmund Starý stood at the head of the order. in France, it was violent liquidation during the French Revolution (Prémontré was abolished in 1790), in the countries of the Habsburg Monarchy, it was the often insensitive church-reform interventions of Joseph II, and in Germany, it was secularization as part of war reparations in the first years of the 19th century . After 1835, only 9 men’s and 6 women’s monasteries remained in the entire order. In this period, however, efforts to restore order and religious life are again evident. Not all efforts were successful, but religious life is returning to Belgium, France, Germany, etc. Order unity was restored thanks to Pope Pius IX. and Leo XIII, who summoned all the abbots to a general chapter in Vienna in 1883. The Strahov abbot Zikmund Starý stood at the head of the order. in France, it was violent liquidation during the French Revolution (Prémontré was abolished in 1790), in the countries of the Habsburg Monarchy, it was the often insensitive church-reform interventions of Joseph II, and in Germany, it was secularization as part of war reparations in the first years of the 19th century . After 1835, only 9 men’s and 6 women’s monasteries remained in the entire order. In this period, however, efforts to restore order and religious life are again evident. Not all efforts were successful, but religious life is returning to Belgium, France, Germany, etc. Order unity was restored thanks to Pope Pius IX. and Leo XIII, who summoned all the abbots to a general chapter in Vienna in 1883. The Strahov abbot Zikmund Starý stood at the head of the order. in the countries of the Habsburg monarchy, about the often insensitive church-reform interventions of Joseph II., and in the territory of Germany about secularization within the framework of war reparations in the first years of the 19th century. After 1835, only 9 men’s and 6 women’s monasteries remained in the entire order. In this period, however, efforts to restore order and religious life are again evident. Not all efforts were successful, but religious life is returning to Belgium, France, Germany, etc. Order unity was restored thanks to Pope Pius IX. and Leo XIII, who summoned all the abbots to a general chapter in Vienna in 1883. The Strahov abbot Zikmund Starý stood at the head of the order. in the countries of the Habsburg monarchy, about the often insensitive church-reform interventions of Joseph II., and in the territory of Germany about secularization within the framework of war reparations in the first years of the 19th century. After 1835, only 9 men’s and 6 women’s monasteries remained in the entire order. In this period, however, efforts to restore order and religious life are again evident. Not all efforts were successful, but religious life is returning to Belgium, France, Germany, etc. Order unity was restored thanks to Pope Pius IX. and Leo XIII, who summoned all the abbots to a general chapter in Vienna in 1883. The Strahov abbot Zikmund Starý stood at the head of the order. In this period, however, efforts to restore order and religious life are again evident. Not all efforts were successful, but religious life is returning to Belgium, France, Germany, etc. Order unity was restored thanks to Pope Pius IX. and Leo XIII, who summoned all the abbots to a general chapter in Vienna in 1883. The Strahov abbot Zikmund Starý stood at the head of the order. In this period, however, efforts to restore order and religious life are again evident. Not all efforts were successful, but religious life is returning to Belgium, France, Germany, etc. Order unity was restored thanks to Pope Pius IX. and Leo XIII, who summoned all the abbots to a general chapter in Vienna in 1883. The Strahov abbot Zikmund Starý stood at the head of the order.

For the Premonstratensians in Bohemia and Moravia, the period of the end of the 19th century and the first half of the 20th century was a period of development despite partial problems. The religious managed to survive the Second World War (some of them were imprisoned and perished in concentration camps), but the communist regime posed a far worse threat. In 1950, all men’s orders in what was then Czechoslovakia were forcibly dispersed, and a number of Premonstratensians were unjustly convicted in fabricated trials. Strahov abbot Bohuslav Jarolímek died in prison. Individual communities continued their activities underground more or less successfully, so that after 1989 they were able to return to their monasteries and begin the renewal of religious life.

Nowadays, we are once again continuing this certainly rich order tradition. The viability of the order is evidenced, among other things, by the missions that are located in Africa, Brazil, South America and India and are supported by monasteries from Europe and North America. The order currently has about 1,330 men and 374 women.

Today, the Strahov canon has 74 members. The majority work in parishes in Bohemia, Moravia, but also in Slovakia (the Premonstratensians manage, for example, the parish in Jihlava or the pilgrimage site Svatý Kopeček near Olomouc). The canonry also includes two dependent houses in Milevsk and Holíč in the Slovak Republic, spiritual administration is also carried out in the restored Premonstratensian women’s monastery in Doksany . Abbot Daniel Peter Janáček is the head of the canon.