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MELE


167


MELLERAY


ter to Eutrepius", "Catena in Apocalypsin ", a mani- fest forgery compiled after A. d. 1200; " De passione S. Joannis Evangelists; " (probably not earlier than the seventh century), " De transitu Beatae Mariee Vir- ginis" (see Apocrypha in I, 607). Melito's feast is observed on 1 April.

Bardenhewer, Fatrotogy, tr. Shahan (St. Louis, 1908), 62-3, contains a bibliograpliy of the printed fragments; Salmon in Diet. Christ. Biog., a. v.; Hefele, Hist, of the Christ, Councils, tr. Clark, I (Edinburgh, 1894), 310-12; CnREToN, Spicilegium Syriacum {London, 1855) : Routh, Reliquias SacrcE, I (Oxford, 1834), 110; PiTRA, Spicilegium Solesmense, II (Paris, 1854), xxxvii, Ixv; Tillemont, Memoires, II (Paris, 1694), 407, 663; Acta SS., April, I, 10-12; Melito of Sardis and his Remains in KiTTO, Journal of Sacred Lit. (1855-6), XV, 121; XVI, 434; XVII, 121.

A. A. MacErlean.

Melk (MoLCK, Melucum), Abbey and Congrega- tion OP. — Situated on an isolated rock commanding the Danube, Melk has been a notetl place since the days of the Romans. A Slav settlement, Magalicha, replaced the Roman fort-, antl in its turn was destroyed by a Magyar invasion about 955, when it received the name Eisenburg. The Magyars, however, were driven out by Luitpold the Illustrious, first Margrave of Austria, who here ftxed his capital and founded a church for secular canons. These having become lax, were re- placed by twelve monks of Subiaco, whom Luitpold II brought from Lamliach with Sijibold as their abbot in 10S9. Melk was much favoured by St. Luitpold III, and the new foundation rapidly grew and flour- ished, its corn tithes being so abundant that the folk- name for Melk was "at the full bushel". It became a place of pilgrimage to the shrine of St. Coloman, and was famed for its great relic of the Holy Cross. By the fifteenth century monastic observance at Melk had become relaxed, but in 1418, at the request of Albert V, Archduke of Austria, Martin V sent the Ven. Nicliolas of Magen with five other monks of Subiaco from the Council of Constance to begin a re- form of the monasteries of Lower Austria. The Ab- bot of Melk, John of Flemming, voluntarily resigned, and Nicholas, elected in his stead, soon so reformed the observance in accordance with the constitutions of Subiaco that the abbey became a model for other houses in Austria. Several monasteries followed its example, among them Obenburg, Salzburg, Mariazell, the ScottLsh abliey at Vienna, Kremsmunster, Ratis- bon, and Tegernsee. All these houses followed the same observance and styled themselves the Congrega- tion of Melk. They in no way depended, however, on Melk, nor had they any general superior, soliciting visitors when needful from the pope. The .4bbey of Melk continued in its first fervour of reform, and several attempts were made from 1460 onwards to effect a more formal union. In 1470 seventeen ab- bots of various neighbouring dioceses met at Erfurt and decided to establish in their monasteries the com- mon observance and ceremonial of Melk. Nothing more definite occurred until Caspar, Abbot of Melk, in 1618 invited the abbots of Austria to meet at Melk and form a congregation. The negotiations continued un- til 1623, when the Abbots of Melk, Kremsmunster, Garsten, the Scots' Abbey of Vierma, Altenburg, Gbttweich and Mariazell signed the constitutions agreed upon for the new congregation. These were confirmed by Urlian VHI in 1625. In adtlition the congregation included the houses of Lambach, Monsee, Leittenstaden and Kleinck. It was governed by a superior general, elected every two years, who acted as visitor of all the monasteries of the congregation. Each province also had its own visitor. In 1G30 there was an attempt to form a united congregation of all the monasteries of the empire, but the Swedish in- vasion frustrated this project, though many of the German monasteries thenceforth observed the con- stitutions of Melk. In the fourteenth century Melk, by permission of Duke Frederic I, had been fortified, and was thus able to resist successive sieges by Matthias


Corvinus, by the revolted peasantry, by the Protes- tant States of Austria and by the Turks, though on each occasion the property of the abbey suffered. Great losses, too, were sustained at the hands of Na- poleon's troops. In 18S9 the Abbey of Melk was in- cluded by Leo XIII in the Austrian Congregation of the Immaculate Conception. In 1905 the congrega- tion numbered 85, of whom 75 were priests. The present abbot, Joseph Charles (b. 1824, appointed 1875), exercises jurisdiction over 29 parishes, with 45,145 souls.

Annales MeUicenses, ed. Wattenbach, in Pertz, Mon. Germ. Hist. Script., IX (Hanover, 1851), 480-535; Berliere. La re forme de Melk au XV' Siicle in Revue Birudictine, XII (1895), 204-13, 289-309; Heimbucher. Die Orden und Kon- greffationen der Katholischen Kirche, I (Paderbom, 1907), 286- 95.344; HELYOT,Z)tc(io7inairerfes . . . ordresreli{ie'ux,\\ {Varis, 1863), 1033-39; Katschthaler, Melk (Vienna, 1905); Keib- iAtJGEK,Geschichtedes Benediktinerstifts Melk (Vienna, 1851-69); Kropf, Bibliotheca Mellicensis (Vienna, 1747); Mabillon, An- nates O. S. B.. V (Lucca. 1740), 248-9; Fez, Ephemerides rerum in Monasterio Mellicensi . . . gestarum . . . 1741-46, ed. St.aufer in Studien O. S. B., VIII-X (1886-9); .Schramb. Chronicon Mellicense (Vienna, 1702) ; Wolfsgrt'iber and HCbl, Ahteien unde Kloster in (Esterreich (Vienna, n. d.),

Leslie A. St. L. Toke.

Melleray (Mellearium), situated in Brittany (Loire-Inf(5ricure), Diocese of Nantes, in the vicinity of Chatcauljriand, was founded about the year 1134. Foulques, Abbot of Pontron, in Anjou, founded from Loroux (a daughter of Citeaux) , sent monks for the foundation of a monastery in Brittany. They were delighted with the solitude of a place near Old Melle- ray, shown them by Rivallon, pastor of Auverne, which Alain de Moisdon, proprietor of the place, do- nated to them. Guitern, the first abbot, erected the original monastery in 1145, but the church was not completed until 1183, under Geffroy, the fourth abbot. Melleray, a small monastery built for about twelve religious, remained regular until during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, when relaxa- tion prevailed as a result of the acquisition of great wealth and the introduction of the system of com- mendatory abbots. Etienne de Brez^ (1544) was the first commendatory abbot, and from his time both spiritual and temporal welfare declined, until toward the end of the seventeenth century when, through the efforts of Dom Jouard, vicar-general of the order, the rule of St. Bernard was re-introduced, and the monastic buildings restored. In 1791 it was suppressed, and the few religious were disjier-sed. This, however, was not the end of Melleray. The Trappists, expelled from France, took refuge at Val Sainte, Switzerland; from there, urged by their rapid increase, and for fear of the spread of the revolution, Dom Augustine de Lestrange established them in various parts of the world. Through the generosity of Sir Thomas Weld, a wealthy English Catholic, the father of Cardinal Weld, they settled (1795) at Lul- worth, Dorsetshire, England. Their monastery was soon created an abbey, and Dom Antoine was elected the fir.st abbot (1813). In 1817, with changed condi- tions and the restoration of the Bourljons, the monks of Lulworth returned *.o Melleray. The restored al> bey flourished, increasing from fifty-seven to one hundred and ninety-two members in twelve years. During the Revolution of 1830 they were again perse- cuted, especially those of foreign birth, of whom they had a great number. To make homos for these they founded Mount Melleray (1833) in Ireland and Mount Saint Bernard (1835) in England. Dom Antoine (d. 1839) was succeeded first by Dom Maxime, then by a second Dom Antoine, and finally by Dom Eugene Vachette, the present abbot. Under Dom Antoine II several monasteries were established, among them Gethsemani, in the United States. Dom Eugene, elected in 1875, was for many years the vicar-general of the Congregation of La Grande Trappe, and waa instrumental in effecting the reunion of the three con- gregations into one order (1892). Since then he has