Monastic History

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Monastic History Class, Congregations

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which basically treats the development of congregations around the time of the post-reformation. Now we're into post-reformation, the Council of Trent. We ended last time with the Council of Trent, two weeks ago, three weeks ago. It looks like we'll finish up next Wednesday, if things go well. So this is one more class after this. And then John's class will start meeting three times a week. Just a joke. Okay. So we had the Council of Trent, which gave certain legislation about the Benedictines, trying to get the Benedictines more centralized and more organized. Not in a coherent way like was done in the 19th century, but one of these periods where they're trying again to get the Benedictines centralized and controlled.


So after Trent, we have a certain development of congregations. Now we've used that word loosely before, congregations. When certain groups of monasteries, for whatever historical reasons or reforming reasons, banded together, they usually banded together under one main community, and it was considered a congregation, sometimes set up as a congregation, but not in the same sense that we have now. Here we're talking about the beginnings of these juridical congregations, these congregations that are set up and watched over by Rome. They're still exempt houses, but Rome has a little more control, a little more coherence to the grouping. And the legislation that starts flowing from Rome regarding congregations is going to get a little more specific and a little more coherent,


and it has a lot of strength behind it. So during the 16th and 17th centuries, then, we have congregations being formed all over the place, many of them half-heartedly at this time because they had to. You had to join up with the congregation. And so that's, for the majority of that, the reason they were doing it. They weren't all too hip about getting into a congregation. In general, the German congregations as a whole remained closer to the tradition regarding the constitutions that had been set up for communities over the centuries. And some of the French houses showed real improvement during this time. But overall, these congregations are developing half-heartedly. They're only doing it because they were told to do it. So we're going to take a short look at each one of these congregations.


The first one is the Flemish congregation, also called the Belgian congregation. Now there is going to be another congregation down the line that's called the Belgian congregation or the Congregation of the Presentation, and that one really becomes known as the Belgian congregation more than this one. This is one of the Flemish. It was first formed in the year 1569, but it was never able to accomplish much. Here you have a situation where they just started banding together because they were told to. And there was so much civil strife going on at this time between Austria and France, and you have Flanders suffering from that, and Belgium suffering in between the two of them, that they really never got off the ground all that much. Ergo, the Belgian Presentation congregation is going to become more important in this area.


We have the beginnings then, also the Gallican congregation. And this congregation formed officially in the year 1581. Now with Gallican, we're talking about France, of course, Gaul, Gallia. So here we have the French houses, some of which are important during this time and are really into cleaning up their act and getting things together. But the problem in the French, or the Gallican congregation at this time, and the reason why the Gallican congregation never became powerful and never became all that really useful, is that the majority of the abbots in the French houses still in the 16th century were commandants. And so even though you have people railing in these centuries against commandant abbots,


and you have legislation coming out saying no more of this, all the houses, the majority of the houses in France still have commandant abbots. No, they're not real abbots. They're just people there who have the title and they take the money. And so we still have this problem in France. In the year 1770, that should ring a bell, this entire congregation is suppressed in France. You know, this lecture and next week's lecture are really going to be depressing, because it's just one suppression and one destruction after another of our order, a resurgence and then all over again, and then we've been on the build-up since then. I mean, the good news is today, and even if there is, for most houses, a vocational crisis right now, and there will probably be quite a different kind of Benedictine monasticism 20 years down the road


than has been in the rest of the century, it's basically good news. We've been on a tremendous surge during this 20th century. And I'm not going to lecture about the 20th century, because we're living in it, but I will give you the roots to the American formation of Benedictinism and will give you some English bibliography regarding that. One of the best things is to read Joel's book on the history of the Benedictine Order in the United States, Joel Lippincott. That's the best thing to do. Oh, the Bretonic congregation. Obviously, we're talking about... What area? Breton. And where is Breton? Brittany. Ah, ha, [...] ha! It's on tape, too! We're talking about Bretagne, huh?


We're talking about Brittany. You were close. You just had to add a knee. But it's across the channel. We've met this area monastically before. It has been off and on one of the most important monastic areas in our history. And we had some very big houses here over the years. I remember also the Norman invasion of... Conquest of England was hooked up with the Bretonic houses as well as some of the other Normandy houses and other aligned houses in France. Marmoutier... I don't have it up there because we've already run across it a number of times. Marmoutier Abbey at this time is one that really wants to get into reform. And so it said,


we want out of the Gallican congregation. This is a sham. Nobody's doing anything. And so... They decided that they, with some other houses, would form a new league, a new congregation, called the Bretonic Congregation. So really the Bretonic is a secession group off the Gallican. And these are houses that really wanted to do something. And in the year 1633, these houses are going to join the Maurist Congregation, which is going to be the most important congregation in the world in that century, Benedictine-wise. That's just down the road. The Saint-Denis Congregation formed in the year 1601 in Germany


and it was approved by the Pope. The Pope suggested that all the houses of Alsace-Lorraine join this particular congregation. And so it became very large. And it lasted and was a fine congregation until the time of the Revolution when it all ended. The French Revolution. Everything ended. Several of the French houses wanted to join this congregation, but the government wouldn't let them because technically this was a German congregation. Now, some of the French houses were in this congregation because the Pope had wanted it from the beginning, but when other French houses wanted to join something real, the government refused to allow that to happen. The Saint-Maur Congregation, or the Maurists.


We have a wonderful history, a two-volume history, which has come out in the last six, seven years on the Maurist Congregation. Is it in French? I thought it was in English. I don't remember. But it's an excellent resource for our library. This was approved by Pope Gregory XV in the year 1621. And this particular congregation was supported by the nobility. So they had some money and they had some power. And in the year 1628, the Brittonic congregation began overtures to join this congregation. Remember, the Brittonic was a real Reformed congregation. Joined up with this and actually effected that union in the year 1633.


And basically, gradually, this congregation united every house in France into one very solid and very important congregation. I could have brought you maps with, you know, the maps that have the dots on them. Remember the ones I brought about, the Camaldolese and Chauverge Camaldolese households. I have one of those also for the Maurist houses. It's practically the entire map of France is black from dots. It was just a huge congregation. They just had every house there was and resurrected many others that, you know, used to be into a very vibrant, real congregation. There were 180 houses in six different provinces, main houses. There were other little offshoots and whatnot as well. And they followed the pattern of the Cassanese congregation,


which was located where? The mother house of the Cassanese congregation. Where? Yes, St. Justina of Padua. I want you to remember that particular house because it's one of the things you should carry away from this course because it's really an important house because it resurrected reform at a very important time and still exists today. Remember even Casino joined, Monte Casino joined. That's why they gave it a deference to the title of the mother of all, the Cassanese congregation. How was the Maurist congregation set up then? Well, we've heard this pattern before. They have a general superior for three years and he lives at the house in Paris named Saint-Germain-des-Prés. Important house.


And you'll run across that title if you read monastic history often, especially when you're talking about a heresy that comes down the line in France, not too far off, which is called... Janssen. Janssen. I was going to cut that one. You're just saying that's a tape. And he had two assistants like our prior general has three assistants. The general of the Maurist congregation had two assistants or counselors, and he had six visitators and several definitors. So he had a whole little army of people who were doing a lot of administrative work and spiritual visitational work for him. The general chapter met every third year,


so they would go through the election process again, which appointed the general superior, the visitators, and all the superiors of the various houses. So the general chapter in this particular congregation takes on a very important role. They had a difference regarding the vow of stability. Here we have an instance where a monk of this congregation takes a vow of stability to the congregation, not to a particular house. And we were that way prior to coming into the Confederation in 1975, 76, somewhere around there. So you could be moved around anywhere by the general because your stability was to the congregation and the general, not to a particular house within the congregation. There were two provincial novitiates


for each of the six provinces. One was for the novitiate as such, the novitiate year, and the other one was for studies, so it was like a seminary. House of Studies. But they were both called commissions. Regarding chapter rights, or vote in chapter, whatever house you're residing in under obedience to the spirit, that's where you have your chapter rights. So your chapter rights would keep changing every time you get moved somewhere or asked to go somewhere and are allowed to do so. This particular congregation is known for its scholarship, more than any other congregation in our order in our history, the Novelists. And for their own young people, scholarship was fostered fervently. So they had two years of ascetical culture after novitiate,


and they studied ascetical theology. They had five years of philosophy and theology, and then they took a year off in retreat. This was their normal setup. So you go through all your studies, and then you get a year off for retreat. And then, for those who are qualified, back to higher studies and doctorates and whatnot. And it's at that time that if you're not going on to higher studies, you move into one of the houses in some role. You move to a house outside, you know, out of the House of Studies. The monastic life in these houses, in this congregation, was very real. It wasn't phony. The Maoist congregation, again, is something very real and wonderful in our history. But they perceived their main work as literary work. So they went into publishing and into scholarship. They wrote many, many works, came out of this congregation.


And did a lot of study in monastic history and the lives of saints, historical criticism of these critical texts, historical criticism, some of which are still tops and still are relied on by scholars. Our own Kamaldi's history that I'm translating right now, to a large extent, looks to Mabillon for his annales, so his Benedictine chronicles. Those are very important for our own history at certain periods where they chronicled our own great monks. Also the martyrology, the Benedictine martyrology, that Mabillon and the other monks did, very, very important. The Fathers of the Church series that started coming out, Maurits, all his patristic studies. You talk to Don Mill, you just mention Maurits and he'll glow, you know. Because basically his field stems from the scholarship and research


that these people did. The greatest of them all really was Jean Mabillon, whose deeds are given there. Great intellect, a genius really. Not just in the field of monastic studies, but also in philosophy and historical criticism and literary criticism. Mabillon and his cohorts did a lot for the culture of their day. Each month they got a desert day. They got a desert day. They didn't call it that, they called it a monthly recollection day. But they did have occasional desert periods. They called them that. And so they would have several days to be in total solitude as a means of rejuvenation.


So we're talking what? 17th, 18th century. The last general, abbot general of the Maurits congregation, along with 40 of his monks, had their heads guillotined off. And that ended the Maurits congregation as such. And the Pope dissolved the congregation because there was no one left. They had all been dispersed, exiled, imprisoned. And the general and all the top ones were executed in the revolution. And they've never been re-founded? No. There are other congregations now. And actually, in each house, and some houses have more than others, there are scholars that really fit this pattern, the Maurits emphasis.


The Belgian congregation, also known as the Congregation of the Presentation of Mary, looked to the house of Saint-Yvon as their ideal, the house in Lorraine. And since their government in Belgium refused to allow them to join up with that congregation, again, political, ethnic reasons, more political, Saint Hubert's Abbey, Hubert, Saint Hubert, Saint Hubert. Where did that name come up just recently? My preference. Ah, okay. I thought of that this morning when I read it. I just ran into that name. Here's an abbey named after Saint Hubert.


And so Saint Hubert quietly brought some of the monks in to the country from Lorraine to help them get started as a congregation without their government finding out about it. We've seen this before. England brought over a number of Fleury monks at one time to get their reform started. And so these Lorraine monks ran the novitiate there at Saint Hubert for a while and began a reform based on their own experience. And so here we have another situation where something very good comes about. These three are really shining examples. And Bretonnic was pretty good, too. Limited, but pretty good. And, of course, it joined them all. So these last three here are really solid congregations.


And houses that we haven't run into before, we've run into Gramont, I think. But Bergen and Afrigen joined this. These are bigger houses. Joined them and other houses, and they became their own congregation, this congregation of the presentation. They had general chapter every year. And they had a visitation every year. They had local stability. That is, you took your vow of stability not to the congregation, but to a particular house. But all the houses in that congregation shared the same novitiate. So all the young ones went to a centralized novitiate, and then they went back to their house after their initial formation. That is, also the House of Studies was centralized. Also, you notice, just for financial reasons, it becomes more and more common to have this happening during the ensuing centuries.


This does not mean that, even though they were having a general chapter every year, that they were electing a superior every year. Their abbots were lifetime abbots. So they were set up that way. Once you elected an abbot, you had him as long as he lived. And that's the way it was in the early part of this century in America also, in both congregations, until Vatican II. Abbots were abbots until they died. In some cases, you had to have... What is the word? You had to have another one with you. Co-Judah. Co-Judah abbots. Because you have these old rickety abbots still living into the 90s and whatnot, or some of them going quite batty. And you have to have other abbots there who are really running the place. You didn't have a lot of retiring. I just do that because the thing was lifetime.


That changed with Vatican II for some of the congregations. The Swiss houses still have lifetime abbots, although a lot of them resigned. They can resign. The English congregation. We really don't have an English congregation until now. And this is a fascinating... We have a history of the English congregation not too long ago that we put into the library. Fascinating history. Already in the year 1300, Pope Boniface VIII... Do you remember who Boniface VIII was? Who was the pope before Boniface VIII? My favorite saint. The guy who was just a pope for a couple of years. Yeah, Celestine V.


I mean, not very much Celestine. I have a lot of favorites. But this is the guy that locked Celestine up. The only pope to resign, and he locked him up. Boniface VIII was a real ape. When you're talking about Boniface VIII, you're talking General Patton of the papal history. He united all the English houses, Boniface VIII did, into a general chapter in the year 1300, already then. But it really wasn't a congregation of such. It was just one of those moments where they were trying to get stuff together, trying to get the program together. The monks, you know, Elizabeth, Elizabeth I, exiled all the benedictines, all the benedictines. I mean, what damage Henry VIII didn't do, Elizabeth picked up the cudgel and finished it off.


And so most of what English benedictines there were before the Reformation either died or went lay or into exile as monks over in France, basically. Some went to Spain also. But Elizabeth kept some in prison in the country. And one old monk at the end, there was only one left, Sigbert, Sigbert Buckley. Sigbert Buckley, I don't remember how old he was. I think he was 80-some years old. He was still in prison, almost at death's door. And the Englishmen who wanted to be monks had to sneak out of the country and they mainly went to Italy and Spain to become monks


in order to bring monasticism back to England. And that was called, quote-unquote, the English mission. So they had to come back in disguise and form small communities and minister to Catholic people in England. Well, they were going mainly to Italy and again, St. Justine of Padua. That's where Gus and Baker went. And Spain, although some went to France too. France tended to be for them, the coast of France, more a gathering place just before they would come over the channel. The nuns who were in exile did have some rather large houses, the English nuns, in France. But there are a couple of men's places there, but the men were all over the place and most of them constantly coming back across the channel


in Cognito. In the year 1607, Augustine Baker, his name is there, Augustine Baker and two others were able to sneak into the prison by bribery or whatever, however they got in. These are men who were priests, would become priests, Benedictines in other houses, other countries, and came back into England on the English mission, got into the Sigbert Buckley in his prison cell, and through that encounter, the privileges and essence of the Benedictine congregation in England were passed from Sigbert


to these other ones, and he closed them in their cell, in his cell, as Benedictines. I'm not sure they quickly took it back off and hid it. But this effected legally the carrying on of what congregation was developing in England and became known as the English congregation and was approved by Pope Paul V in the year 1609. Obviously, for the most part, this congregation had to grow on foreign soil and constantly send its men back across the channel, many of whom were executed during these post-Reformation years on the English mission. The English mission, if you're going to be a Benedictine in this congregation, you took a fourth vow. You took stability, obedience, conversatio, and the English mission.


And that is, you vowed to go back to the country and come here and do whatever you could as long as you lived. And this was real martyr, a real martyr element. Are you going to say something? No? They organized themselves, not surprisingly, again, because I mentioned where Augustine Baker was, where he did his study, again, St. Justine of Padua, and they organized themselves in the Cassanese pattern as a congregation. The English congregation still exists today. Lastly, before we hit number 26, chapter 26, monasticism in Germany at this time was not the greatest. Who finally granted religious tolerance in England? Who what? Who finally granted religious... Well, you had it off and on there for a period.


I'm not all that... My memory isn't all that good in English history, although I've read it. But you had periods where certain of the rulers were tolerant. Of course, you had the Bloody Mary time down the road. James the something or other was tolerant for a while, and so they could flourish for a few years and then go back undercover. It's only much later on in the 20th century that you actually have whole communities coming over from France and going back and starting up a community in England. Very moving parts of history when these whole convents of women, English nuns, could come back to their own soil. Even though their forebears for four generations had lived in France or whatever, here they were coming back and restarting


Benedictine abbeys and convents. You want to read a good history. Just as an example of this, read what is the history of... In a great tradition, it's the history of Stanbrook Abbey, which is one of these big convents that formed again. It's really a history of the abbess, the main abbess of their history. But also you get the whole... It's very, very readable. Very enjoyable. There are a couple copies now. We only got them last year. Can you believe that we didn't have them? The one we just got from those people up in Carmel. Yeah, the other one Martin found in an out-of-print book thing or whatever. So when you're talking about Germany, you have a situation where at this time, in this period, all the political rulers are against any type of structure


for monasticism. They don't want chapters. They don't want congregations. They don't want any banding together. And so Rome used its heavy hand at this point and said, either something happens here in a post-Tridentine way, or we start to act. The Germans totally ignored it. Rome came in and suppressed Abbey. After Abbey started suppressing houses all over, they quick decided to turn around a little bit and to cooperate with Rome, and some congregations were formed. Altogether, there were eight German congregations then that formed. But again, here you're talking about a time when the congregations were sort of, they were doing it because they were told to and not because they really wanted to, as some of the other ones we've just looked at. The three main ones were the Swabian,


the Swiss, and the Austrian congregations. These are the names for this period in history. Okay, now we're talking pre-Napoleonic. Once we hit Napoleon, it's tabula rasa, and we start from scratch all over again, as you will see. The main problem in Germany, after the congregations were formed, were not the lay rulers, who had initially been a problem, but the bishops. The German bishops didn't want any of their own authority or power threatened by powerful monastic congregations. They wanted their finger in the pudding and resented this development. Any questions then on what we've talked about this morning


before we begin with the last chapter? Okay, so we can move then into the final period, which is the 17th to the 19th centuries. Basically, from the year 1600 to 1800, we don't know a lot about the history of these houses for whatever reasons, but we know that it was a time of prosperity for the order. We don't have a lot of history. A lot of it was destroyed during the Napoleonic era. So we don't have the records, but we know that it was a time of prosperity. And this development that was initiated here in the post-Tridentine fabric began to develop during these two centuries. And the general chapters did their work.


Visitations gradually awoke a whole new consciousness. The power that flowed through the order because of these good, excellent congregations, reform congregations, helped to spur on some of the others, even though it took a while for them to do that. Especially the Maoists flowered during these centuries and really were the main impetus within the Benedictine order. In the year 1617, the Benedictine order founded the University of Salzburg. Did you know that? No, I didn't know that either. University of Salzburg? 16 what? 17. 17? The 17th century. 1617. Uh-huh. During this time, the Benedictines,


Austria particularly, and Bavaria, were known for their studies, were known for their history and theological studies, also known for philosophy and the sciences. During this time. And many of them were involved in higher education in these countries. The 18th century, so the 1700s, is really the second great building period in the Benedictine history. Okay? And here we have house after house after house, and all the houses and the congregations building these immense Baroque abbeys that are all over Europe, some of them still. Well, depending on your taste. I find them incredibly ugly for the most, they look like clocks, you know, these elaborate clocks that you see that move. The abbey somehow reminded me of that.


Even today, you know, like in our house, it has our own particular history, of course, that they can't change. The monks that come on, they just moan, because you go in there and you're flooded by all this Baroque, Roca coast, curly queues all over the place. There's just, it's too busy, you know? Just too busy. And been added on to. Added on to the original, and that happened in the 1800s. Somebody came through and decided that all the monastic churches should have this. In fact, all the churches in Italy. And they put all these fronts, on the stone fronts, on the fronts of the churches, and then went wild and said, oh, like wedding cakes. And they still do, because we can't change these things. The government really is in charge of our mother house and the churches of our order. And so, it's kind of,


you have a sigh of relief when you go to the Rome house, and outside of Sunday, you're in a very nice, quiet, plain chapel there. And Sundays you're back out into the main church. But at our other houses, they're always praying their office in these very, very busy, curvy churches, and they really don't care for it all that much. They consider it the cross they bear. It isn't that they don't love the church itself, but if they could only simplify things, that they can't touch it. And all these paintings with plaques. There's a lot of that videotape. There's that one shot. I don't know what room it is, but all the paintings on the ceiling and all the gold. Were there singing? Sure. No, there was no one in there at the time. Don't remember what room it would have been. That was probably at the Hermitage. But it's the same up there.


It's the same thing up there. Anyway, this is a great building period for the Benedictine history. And the study of history, revitalized the monastic spirit at this time. So hand in hand with the great rebuilding, you have a real interest in things monastic. And so this century is very, very important, even though we don't have a lot of the specifics of the history anymore, because they were destroyed in the revolutions. We know that it was an immense time of prosperity for us. Excuse me. All of this, just down the road, is going to be completely thwarted by rationalism and the revolutions subsequent to that. And so we can begin by looking at revolutionary France. We're talking late 18th century,


so late 1700s. There are many, many houses in France at this time. Remember what I said about the monasts. But a lot of them were small. They were into small houses, not great big powerful houses that were running universities and stuff like that, but much smaller houses all over the place. And to a certain extent, even now, even through this time where we had real reform going on in France, we still have commendable habits in France. They still have it. And of course, the Gallican church history, the history of the church in France is very, very unique. They were always anti-Rome. They always did their own thing to centralization. And they're still that way. What's left is still that way.


And there's a great, great anti-clericalism in France as a whole. And I think it runs in the blood. My name is Benoit. You can see it in Quebec too. It's a very, very strong anti-clericalism. Well, the Gallican church had that all along. That's the hallmark of its history. So, even though the Maurists had a lot of success in getting rid of commendable habits, it was like bleeding beets, you know. And still, at the end of this time, there's still a number of them. These pompous fools who just had the title and are running the houses into wreck and ruin. You still have that in France to a certain extent. In 1776, a commission was appointed by the political, the ones in power,


to examine all of the monasteries. And they ended up by suppressing quite a few of them. Wherever they could get away with it, they suppressed the houses. It was the government? Yeah, the government. With the Maurists, they became involved in the Jansenist controversy at this time. And also, they at this time, just prior to the revolution, during the early years of the revolution, were much more into education than into monastic reform. It isn't that they were degenerate or anything. It's that their focus had really honed down into studies and scholarship. And you find the government intervening again and again and again in Maurist houses and Maurist conferences. Of course, the Maurists are going to fight not just Jansenism,


they're going to fight rationalism, they're going to fight Descartes philosophy and subsequent developments. Well, how is a revolution going to work out? Not too kindly upon the Maurists. Well, a revolution ends everything, for the most part. In Germany, the same study of the sciences which the Maurists were getting involved in, rather than theology and philosophy, took its toll also there for like reasons. Because many of the monks, many of the shining scholars, monastic scholars at this time, were caught up too much in the Enlightenment as the end all and be all, and got into a lot of trouble in their houses too. And a lot of the monks left the communities


when the revolutions came. Gladly. They embraced the revolutions. Gradually, the idea of secularization of religion was growing at this time, towards the end of the 18th century. That is, turning monastic things monastic to the benefit of state and society. The secular state and society. And this cry is not only coming out of Protestant monks in Germany, for instance, but all of Catholic France, for the most part, is shouting the same thing. What good are monasteries? What good are monks? End them. Cut their heads off. Kick them out. Take over the buildings. Stones were used to build a whorehouse as a sign of how they felt


about monasticism. And, of course, a lot of the monks were slaughtered. They were not slaughtered. Not just been victims. Carmelites lost a lot of them. But other orders too. A lot of lies, a lot of calumny, a lot of bad press, a lot of fake trials and outlandish accusations and whatnot, led to imprisonment, exile, death for a lot of people. In France, in the year 1768, the first suppressions, the very first suppressions started happening. Twenty years later, all the houses were forbidden, all the ones that were left, were forbidden to take any novices in from then on. Two years later, all the religious orders were suppressed. All the religious from those orders


who wanted to stay religious had to be exiled from their own country. The monasteries were plundered and destroyed, just to end it all once and for all. From the French Revolution, consequential to the French Revolution, all the monastic houses in Belgium, Alsace, Lorraine, and the Rhineland region all ended as part of the French Revolution and its effects. Austria. In the year 1654, Empress Maria Theresa began to cause problems and Joseph II, Emperor Joseph, finished off what she had started. In the year 1781, every house was limited


to a very few people, monks that they could have there. All the unprofitable houses, if you went in the red, you were suppressed. It was just a way to begin suppressing places. And the remaining houses were bled and taxed white until they went in the red and they were suppressed. In the year 1786, all the monks of Austria were forbidden to hold choir. They were forbidden to have liturgy. Three years later, they were forbidden to read the Rule of Benedict. There can't be much left. In the year 1803, all the monasteries of the German Empire are suppressed. So you're looking basically at 1800. This is a real sad year


for Benedictines because by that time, all of France, Rhineland, Alsace, Rennes, Belgium, are gone. And all the German Empire, all the houses are gone. What did the Germans have against the monks when they were used to their mostly Protestant? No, no. It's this whole thing with the Enlightenment and rationalism and the sciences and people saying religion, phew, it doesn't, there's no such thing as God or the deists at most. In hand in hand with all the other things we've had to deal, monasticism has had to deal with over the centuries. This is just the latest level. And it culminates, of course, in actual armed revolutions, which are not pro-religion, these revolutions of this time. Benedictinism,


so Benedictinism was totally wiped out in the Rhineland, in northern and southern Germany. Only a very few in Switzerland and Austria remained untouched. Joseph II, I've heard Joseph II suppressed two, or excuse me, 12 monasteries in Napoleon and cleaned up the rest. When he came along, he suppressed the last 29 that we're still hearing there. Open. That is, not just Napoleon himself, but his deputies. Napoleon himself closed 29, his various deputies, deputies of the revolution, closed another 90 houses. We're just talking Germany right now. This was the German Empire. Also, the Napoleonic states


in Spain and in Italy in the years 1809 and 1810 did their number on monasticism. So really, at the beginning of the 19th century, there remained only a very, very few monasteries. A couple in Switzerland, a couple in Austria. Oh, heavens, yes. It's just a mess. A lot of frightened people. A lot of the church embracing rationalism and the Enlightenment and the revolutions. And those that weren't were very frightened and being oppressed for the most part. Pope Pius VII, basically, was forced to watch the Benedictine Order destroyed


during his reign. And this was very, very sad because he himself was a Benedictine. It was very, very painful for him. The monastic world as such just ended during his reign. Well, that's going to go up and down. We'll be looking at that. But, yeah. This is temporary now. Because our houses were suppressed a little bit. Yeah. When we treated elitists, these were crazy and difficult to the up and downs of that sort of thing. Basically, we'll be able to finish on Wednesday. I think I'm going to end five minutes early today because now we're going to change gears and we're going to look at the renewal of the congregations after all of this destruction. So, at least we've got some good news next Wednesday.


Although there will be moments where it's kind of sad again. There.