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BENEDICTINE


449


BENEDICTINE


to Spain they had vohinteered for foreign mission work and were sent to Australia in 1846. Their names were Josepli Serra and Rudesind Salvado. They settled amongst the aboriginal inhabitants at a place some seventy miles north of Perth, which they called New Nursia in honour of St. Benedict's birthplace, and there worked as pioneers of civiliza- tion and Christianity amongst the natives. Their labours were crowned with success and their abbey gradually became the centre from which a number of outlying mis.sion stations were established. Dom Serra became coadjutor to the Bishop of Perth in 1848, and Dom Salvado was made Bishop of Port Victoria in 1849, though he still remained superior of New Nursia, which was made an abbey in 1867 with a diocese attached. It had been aggregated to the Italian province of the congregation in 1864, but was transferred to the Spanish province on its formation in 1893. The monks own vast tracts of bushland around their monastery and they rear horses, sheep, and cattle on a large scale. The community includes a number of aboriginal converts amongst its lay brethren.

(4) The Bursjeld Union. — Although more fully dealt with in a separate article, something must be said here about this congregation. Formed in 1430, it included all the principal monasteries of Germany, and at the height of its prosperity numbered one hundred and thirty-six houses of men and sixty-four of women. It flourished until the Protestant Refor- mation, which with the religious wars that followed entirely obhterated it, and most of its monasteries passed into Lutheran hands. In 1628 the few re- maining representatives of the congregation, ha\'ing recovered a right to some of their possessions, offered seven monasteries to the newly resuscitated English congregation, on condition that the task of getting rid of the Lutheran occupants should devolve upon the Enghsh monks, whilst the monasteries should be restored to the Bursfeld congregation in the event of its ever requiring them. No advantage was taken of this offer except with regard to two houses — Rintelin, which was used as a seminary for a few years by the English Benedictines, and Lamspring, which con- tinued as an abbey of English monks from 1644 to 1802. No other monasteries of the Bursfeld L^nion were ever restored to Benedictine uses. (See Burs- feld.)

(5) The Spanish Congregation. — There were origi- nally two distinct congregations in Spain, that of the "Claustrales" or of Tarragona, formed in 13.36, and that of Valladolid, organized in 1489. .\l the time of the general suppression in 1835, the former comprised sixteen abbeys, and the latter fifty, besides one or two priories in Peru and Mexico. Belonging to the Claustrales were Our Lady's .\bbey, Vilvaneira, St. Stephen's, Rivas del Sil, founded in the .sixth century, and St. Peter's, Cardena, which claimed to be the oldest in Spain. The Valladolid congregation had St. Benedict's, Valladolid (founded 1390), for its mother-house, and amongst its houses were St. Martin's, Compostella (ninth century); St. Benedict's, Sahagun, the largest in Spain; St. Vincent's, Salamanca, famous for its university; Our Lady's, Montserrat; and St. Domingo at Silos. Of the sixty-six monasteries suppressed in 1835, five have been restored, viz., Montserrat (1844), St. Clodio (1880), Vilvaneira (1883), and Samos (1888) by the Cassine.se P. O. congregation, and Silos (1880) by the French monks from Liguge. Of the rest, sixteen remain as parish churches, thirteen are now occupied by other religious orders, two or three are use<l as barracks, two as prisons, one as a diocesan seminary, a few have been con- verted into municipal buildings or private residences, and the remainder have been destroyed.

(6) The Portuguese Congregation. — In the sixteenth


century the monasteries of Portugal were all held by commendatory abbots and con.seciuently were in a very unsatisfactory state as regards disciphne. A reform was initiated in 1558 in the Abbey of St. Thirso, monks from Spain being introduced for the purpose. After much difficulty the leaders succeeded in spreading their reform to two or three other houses, and these were formed into the Portuguese congregation by Pius V in 1566. The first general chapter was held at Tibaes in 1568 and a president elected. The congregation eventually comprised all the monasteries of Portugal and continued in a flourishing state imtil the wholesale suppression of religious houses in the early part of the nineteenth century, when its existence came to an abrupt end. Only one Benedictine monastery in Portugal has since been restored — that of Cucujaes, originally founded in 1091. Its resuscitation in 1875 came about in this way: to evade the law forbidding their reception of novices, the Brazilian Benedictines had sent some of their subjects to Rome for study and training in the monastery of St. Paul's, where they were professed about 1870. The Brazilian govern- ment refusing them permission to return to that country, they settled in Portugal and obtained possession of the old monastery of Cucujaes. After twenty years of somewhat isolated existence there, unable to re-establish the Portuguese congregation, they were, in 1895, affiliated to that of Beuron. Thus Brazil, which had received its first Benedic- tines from Portugal, became in turn the means of restoring the Benedictine life in that country.

(7) The Brazilian Congregation. — The first Bene- dictines to settle in Brazil came from Portugal in 1581. They established the following monasteries: St. Sebastian, Bahia (1581); Our Lady of Montserrat, Rio de Janeiro (1589); St. Benedict, Ohnda (1640); the Assumption, Sao Paulo (1640); Our Lady's, Parahyba (1641); Our Lady's, Brotas (1650); Our Lady's, near Bahia (1658); and four priories depend- ent on Sao Paulo. .-Ml these remained subject to the Portuguese superiors until 1827, when in conse- quence of the separation of Brazil from the Kingdom of Portugal, an independent Brazihan congregation was erected by Leo XII, consisting of the above- eleven houses, with the .Abbot of Bahia as its presi- dent. X decree of the Brazilian government in 1855- forbade the further reception of novices, and the result was that when the empire came to an end in 1889, the entire congregation numbered only about twelve members, of whom eight were abbots of over seventy years of age. The abbot-general appealed for help to the pope, who apphed to the Beuronese congregation for volunteers. In 1895 a small colony of Beuronese monks having spent some time in Portu- gal learning the language, set out for Brazil and took possession of the abandoned .\bbey of Olinda. The divine office was resumed, mission work in the neigh- bourhood commenced, and a school of alumni (pupils- destined for the monastic state) estabUshed. Two- new abbeys have also been added to the congrega- tion: Quixadd, founded in 1900, and St. .A.ndr6 at Bruges (Belgium) in 1901, for the reception and training of subjects for Brazil. In 1903 Rio de Ja- neiro was made the mother-house of the congregation and the residence of the abbot-general.

(8) The Sunss Congregation. — The earUest monas- teries in Switzerland were founded from Luxeuil by the disciples of Columbanus, amongst whom was St. Gall, who established the celebrated abbey after- wards known by his name. By the end of the eighth century the Benedictine Rule had been accepted in most, if not in all of them. Some of these monas- teries still exist and their communities can boast of an unbroken continuity from those early days. The various monasteries of Switzerland were united to form the Swiss congregation in 1602, througb