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Page:Catholic Encyclopedia, volume 2.djvu/512

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BENEDICTINE


450


BENEDICTINE


•the efforts of Augustine, Abbot of Einsiedeln. The political disturbances at the end of the eighteenth «entury reduced the number of abbeys to six, of which five still continue and constitute the entire ■congregation at the present day. They are as follows: (a) Dissentis. founded in 612; plundered and destroyed by fire in 1799; restored ISSO. (b) Einsiedeln. founded 934, the abbey from which the Swiss-American congregation has sprung, (c) Muri, founded 1027; suppressed 1841; but restored at Gries (Tyrol) 1845. (d) Engelberg, founded 1082. (e) Maria Stein, founded 1085; the community was disbanded in 1798, but reassembled six years later; again suppressed in 1875, when the members went to Delle in France; expelled thence in 1902. they moved to Diirnberg in Austria, and in 1906 settled at Bregenz. The sixth abbey was Rheinau, founded 778, which w-as suppressed in 1862; its monks, being unable to resume conventual life, were received into other monasteries of the congregation.

(9) The Congregation of St.-Vannes. — To counteract the evils resulting from the practice of bestowing .ecclesiastical benefices upon secular persons in com- mendam, then rife throughout Western Europe, Dom Didier de la Cour, Prior of the Abbey of St.- Vannes in Lorraine, inaugurated in 1598 a strict •disciplinary reform -n-ith the full approbation of the •commendatory abbot, the Bishop of Verdun. Other monasteries soon followed suit and the reform was introduced into all the houses of Alsace and Lorraine, as well as many in different parts of France. A congregation, numbering about forty houses in all, imder the presidency of the prior of St.-Vannes, was formed, and was approved by the pope in 1604. On account of the difficulties arising from the direc- tion of the French monasteries by a superior residing in another kingdom, a separate congregation — that of St.-Maur — was organized in 1621 for the monas- teries in France, whilst that of St.-Vannes was re- .stricted to those situated in Lorraine. The latter ■continued with undiminished fervour until suppressed -by the French Revolution, but its privileges were handed on by Gregory XVI in 1837 to the newly founded Galilean congregation, which was declared to be its true successor, though not enjoying actual continuity with it.

(10) The Congregation of St.-Maur. — The French imonasteries which had embraced the reform of St.- Vannes were in 1621 formed into a separate congrega- tion named after St. Maur, the disciple of St. Benedict, "which eventually numbered one hundred and eighty liouses, i. e. all in France except those of the Cluniac -congregation. The reform was introduced mainly through the instrumentahty of Dom Laurent B^nard and quickly spread through France. Saint- ■Germain-des-Pres at Paris became the mother- house, and the superior of this abbey was always the president. The constitution was modelled on that •of the congregation of St. Justina of Padua and it was a genuine return to the primitive austerity of conventual observance. It became chiefly cele- brated for the literary achievements of its members, .amongst whom it counted Mabillon, Montfaucon, •d'Ach^ry, Martene, and many others equally famous for their erudition and industry. In 1790 the Revolution suppressed all its monasteries and the monks were dispersed. The superior general and two others suffered in the massacre at the Carmes, 2 September, 1792. Others sought safety in flight .and were received into Lamspring, and abbeys of Switzerland, England, and North America. A few of the survivors endeavoured to restore their con- gregation at Solesmes in 1817, but the attempt was •not successful, and the congregation died out, leaving behind it a fame unrivalled in the annals of monastic history. (See Maurist.s.)

(11) The Congregation of St. Placid. — This congre-


gation was also an outcome of the reform instituted at St.-Vannes. The Abbey of St. Hubert in Ar- dennes, which had been founded about 706 for canons regular but had become Benedictine in 817. was the first in the Low Countries to embrace the reform. To facilitate its introduction, monks were sent from St.-Vannes in 1618 to initiate the stricter observance. In spite of some opposition from the community as well as from the diocesan, the Bishop of Liege, the rexnval of discipline gradually gained the supremacy and before long other monasteries, including St. Denis in Hainault, St. Adrian, Afflighem, St. Peter's at Ghent, and others followed suit. These were formed into a new congregation (c. 1630) which was approved by Pope Urban VIII, and existed until the Revolution. Two abbeys of this congrega- tion, Termonde and Afflighem, have since been re- stored and affiliated to the Belgian province of the Cassinese P. O. congregation.

(12) The Austrian Congregations. — For many cen- turies the monasteries of Austria maintained their individual independence and their abbots acquired positions of much pohtical power and dignity, which, though considerably diminished since medieval times, are still such as are enjoyed by no other Benedictine abbots. The example of reform set by the congre- gation of St. Justina in the fifteenth century exer- cised an influence upon the Austrian monasteries. Beginning (1418) in the Abbey of Melk (foimded about 1089), the reform was extended to other houses, and in 1460 a union of those that had adopted it was proposed. Sixteen abbots were present at a meeting held in 1470, but for some reason this union of abbeys does not seem to have been at all lasting, for in 1623 a new Austrian congregation was pro- jected to consist of practically the same abbeys as the former congregation: Melk, Gottweig, Lambach, Kremsmunster, Vienna, Garsten, Altenburg, Seiten- stetten, Mondsee, Kleinck, and Marienberg. In 1630 it was proposed to unite this congregation, tliose of Bursfeld and Bavaria, and all the houses that were still independent, into one general federa- tion, and a meeting was held at Ratisbon to discuss the scheme. The Swedish invasion, however, put an end to the plan and the only result was the formation of another small congregation of nine abbeys, with that of St. Peter's, Salzburg, at its head. These two congregations, Melk and Salzburg, lasted until towards the end of the eighteenth century, when the despotic rule of Joseph II (1765-90) gave them their death-blow. In 1803 many of the abbeys were sup- pressed and those that were suffered to remain were forbidden to receive fresh novices. The Emperor Francis I, however, restored several of them between the years 1809 and 1816. and in 1889 those that still sur\-ived, some twenty in number, were formed into two new congregations under the titles of the Im- maculate Conception and St. Joseph, respectively. The former comprises ten houses under the presi- dency of the Abbot of Gottweig, and the latter seven, with the Abbot of Salzburg at its head. The con- gregation of the Immaculate Conception, in which are Kremsmiinster, dating from 777, St. Paul's in Carinthia, and the Scots monastery at Vienna, in- cludes none of later date than the twelfth century; whilst in the congregation of St. Joseph there are Salzburg (before 700), Michaelbeuem (785), four others of the eleventh century, and only one of recent foundation, Innsbruck (1904).

(13) The Bavarian Congregation. — A reform ini- tiated amongst the monasteries of Bavaria, based upon the Tridentine decrees, caused the erection of this congregation in 1684. It then consisted of eighteen houses which flourished until the general suppression at the beginning of the nineteenth cen- turj-. Beginning in 1830, the pious King Ludwig I restored the abbeys of Metten and Ottobeuern