Open main menu

Page:Catholic Encyclopedia, volume 10.djvu/198

This page needs to be proofread.


MELLERAY


168


MELLITUS


hoon vicar to llu- Most Rcvcroiul General of the Rc- foniu'il Cistercians. Keecntly he has established ah annex to his monastery in \N'oo(lbarton, Diocese of riyniouth, England.

Melleh.w, Moi'NT. — Situated on the slopes of the Knoekinealdown Mountains, near Cappotjuin, Diocese of Waterford, Ireland, was founded in lS;j3. Father Vincent Ryan was chosen leader of the religious sent hy Dora Antoine, Abbot of Milleray, for this founda- tion. After many efforts to locate his community he accepted the offer of .Sir Richaril Keane, of C'appoquin, to rent a tract of barren mountain waste, some five hundred acres, sub.senuently increased to seven hun- dred. In the work of reclaiming the soil, they were assisted by the country folk; entire parishes, led by their pastors, came, each in turn, to give free a full day's work. In 1S33 the corner-stone was laid by Sir Richard Keane, in the presence of the bishop and a large concourse of clergy and people. In 1835 the monastery was created an abbey, and Father Vincent, unanimousi}' elected, received the abbatial blessing from Dr. Abraham, bishop of the diocese, this being the first abbatial blessing in Ireland since the Refor- mation. Abbot Vincent vigorously undertook the work of completing the abbey, but died 9 Dec., 1845. Under the short rule of his successor, Dom M. Joseph Ryan, but little was accomplished, as he resigned after only two years. To Dom ISruno Fitzpatrick, who suc- ceeded as abbot in September, 1848, it remained to consolidate and perfect the work so well begun. He also founded, in 1849, the monastery of New Melleray, near Dubuque, Iowa, U. S. A., and, in 1878, Mount Saint Joseph, Roscrea, Co. Tipperary, Ireland. But the most conspicuous of Abbot Bruno's works was the founding of the Ecclesiastical Seminary of Mount Melleray. Originating in a small school formed by Abbot Vincent in 1843, it was developed by Abbot Bruno and his successors, until it attained its present rank. Abbot Bruno died 4 Dec, 1893, and was suc- ceeded by Dom Carthage Delaney, who was blessed 15 Jan., 1S94, and presided over Mount Melleray for thirteen years; his successor, Dom Maurus Phelan, solemnly blessed by Dr. Shcahan, Bishop of Water- ford, 15 Aug., 1908, is the present abbot. The com- munity numljers thirty-eight choir religious (of whom twenty-nine are priests) and twenty-nine lay brothers.

Mi:LLr:nAY, New. — Mount Melleray having become crowiled, it was decided to attempt a new foundation. While plans were being discussed. Bishop Lorans, of Dubuque, Iowa, visited the abbey (1849). He ex- pressed a strong desire to have a colony of Trappists in his diocese, and offered a tract of land about twelve miles from Dubuque. Abbot Bruno immediately sent two of his religious to inspect the land, and re- ceiving a favourable report, he accepted the offer. Later in the same year he laid the foundation of New Melleray Abbey, appointing, as its first superior. Father James O'Gorman (later consecratecl first Bishop of Omaha, Nebraska). Father Clement Smyth, the third superior, was also elected bishop, being placed in charge of the Diocese of Dubuque. In 1859 the monastery was made an abbey, and Father Ephraim McDonald elected its fu-st abbot. The second abbot, still in office, is Dom Alberic Dunlea, whose community now numbers thirty-six members.

'MAifmQVE, AnnaleaCislerciense^ CLyons, 1642); Jan auschek, Originum Cistercienium (Vienna, 1877); \lM'iii,.KV,GalliaChris- <tona, XIV (1856); MoRlCE, /-'r- i/" -' i /I . inirr de Bretagne; Yzvi-X. Notice surVAbbayedeM. , 1.SS4); de Cor-

son, UAhbayc de MeUeray nvn ' nri (St. Brieue,

1S9S); Vie du R. P. D. Anloinr (\'< I . I Mi i , ( ; mllardin. ies Trappisle.1 de I'ordre de CUmux au X IX' s. (2 voU., Paris., 1845) ; Richer, Voyage par un Trappiste de 7 Fons (Paris, 1S70); Grandmaijion y Bruno (Paris, 1852); ArcJiives of Mount Melle- ray: Ryan, HiKt. nflhe Fuun.laliim and First Six Years of Ml. Melhray Ahbrji: Hinnj.-i i . M.'hi..„i Abbei/. Its Ruins and Associationn (I)ul.liri. 1- II :v (1640). Triumphalia

Chronologica Moruut. S. < Iiiipiiy (Dublin, 1S91);

HoBEltT, Concise Hist. oflh. ( , t, ,. ;, i irdcr (London, 1852).

Edmond M. Obrecht.


Mellifont, Annr.Y of, three miles from l)rof;hed,a, Co. Louth, Diocese of Armagli, was the first, Cistercian monasterv estubli.shed in Ireland. In the year 1140, St. Malachy, en route for Rome, visited St . Bernard at Clairvaux, and was so edified that he resolved to es- tablish a similar monastery in his own diocese of Ar- magh. He therefore left several of his comjianions at Clairvaux, to make their novitiate under the direc- tion of St. Bernard. In 1142 they returned to found Mellifont under Christian O'Conarehy, who had !)een Archdeacon of Down, and who became the first al>liot. A French monk. Father Robert, an able architect, di- rected the construction of the monastic buildings ac- cortling to the plans of the Abbey of Clairvaux. The consecration of the church in 1157 was the occasion of great religious celebrations. So numerous were the postulants that six important monasteries were founded during the first ten years: Bective (1146); Boyle (1148); Monasternenagh (1148); Baltinglas (1148); Schrule (1150); Newry (1153). In 11.50 the venerable Ab- bot Christian was appointed Bishop of Lismore, and Pope Eugene III, who had been his fellow-novice at Clairvaux, named him legate for Ireland. Soon after his death (11S6) his name was inscribed in the calen- dar of the saints, and he has long been venerated as one of the most powerful protectors of his country. His brother Malchus, equally illustrious for his science and sanctity, succeetled him. For sixty years Mellifont rejoiced in great prosperity, and when the English in- vaded Ireland there were already twenty-five great Cistercian alibeys. During the thirteenth and four- teenth centuries the rivalries between the English and Irish exerted a baneful influence, peace gave way to discord, and in more than one case the general chap- ter, and even the sovereign jiontiff, were forced to in- tervene. Not until the fifteenth century did Mellifont regain its ancient prestige, which was maintained until its suppression by Henry \\\l on 23 July, 1539, when on6 hundred and fifty monks were compelled to leave with Richard Contour, the last Abbot of Melhfont. The king seized the treasures of the abbey, and the annals were either lost or destroyed, and with them the names of many remarkable men. Several relig- ious continued to live in the environs, which explains why, in 1623, the title of Abbot of Mellifont was granted, by Apostolic Brief, to Patrick Barnewall, and again in 1648 to John Devreux when the title dis- appears. In 1566 the abbey, with its dependencies, was given to Edward Moore, chief of the family Dro- gheda, and passed, in 1727, to Balfour of Townley Hall, during whose term of ownership all fell to the speedy decay and desolate ruin of the present day.

Hennessey, Mellifont Abbey, Its Ruins and Associations (Dublin, 1897); Havtry (1640), Triumphalia Chronologica Monasterii Sanctm Cruris, cd. Mdrphy (Dublin. 1891); De Cislercium Hibemorum Viris Illustribus (Dublin, 1895); Jonge- UNna, Nolilice Abbatiarum O. Cist. (Cologne, 1840); Janau- 8CHEK, Originum Cisterciensium (Vienna, 1877); Manrique, An- Tiales Cistercienses (Lyons, 1642); Ddgdale, Monasticon An- glicanum, VI. part 2 (I/Ondon, 1830); Archdall, Monasticum Hibemicum (London, 1786).

Edmond M. Obrecht.

Mellitus, Saint, Bishop of London and tliird Archbishop of Canterljury, d. 24 April, 624. He was the leader of the second band of missionaries whom St. Gregory sent from Rome to join St. Augustine at Can- terbury in 601. Venerable Bede (Plist. Eccl., II, vii) describes him as of noble birth, and as he is styled ab- bot by the pope (Epp. Gregorii, xi, 54, 59), it is thought he may have been Abbot of the Monastery of St. Andrew on the Ccelian Hill, to which both St. Greg- ory and St. Augustine belonged. Several commenda- tory epistles of the pope recommending Mellitus and his companions to various Gallic bishops have been preserved (Epp., xi, 54-62). With the band he sent also "all things needed for divine worship and the Church's service, viz. sacred vessels and altar cloths, vestments for priests and clerics, and also relics of the