Category Archives: Blessed Virgin Mary

Salve Regina, Mater Misericordiae

knock1b.jpgA homily given in 2007:

Farewell to the Assumption
Today is the last day of the Octave of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary. We take leave of the great liturgical festivals in much the same way as Jews take leave of the Sabbath, with a sweet sorrow. The Jewish farewell to the Sabbath is called escorting the Queen. Queen Sabbath leaves, escorted to the door by devout hearts and leaving behind her unmistakable fragrance.

The Need for Octaves
Our Catholic liturgical tradition of the Octave respects one of the human heart’s deepest needs; the need to prolong the feast, the need to linger in the presence of the loved one, savouring every moment and storing up precious memories. For those who enter into the great liturgical festivals of the year there is an unwillingness to let them go, even after eight days. The Church has always honoured the need to prepare, to celebrate, and to prolong her solemnities. The custom of fasting before a feast is a way of making room in one’s soul for the graces flowing from the mystery commemorated. The custom of lingering over the same mystery for eight days is a way of assimilating those graces.

Pius XII
The Octave Day of the Assumption has been celebrated in various ways. In 1944, in the midst of the Second World War, Pope Pius XII entrusted the whole world to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. He decreed that the feast of her Immaculate Heart would be celebrated on August 22nd, the Octave of the Assumption. The same Pope Pius XII, in his encyclical of October 11, 1954, instituted the feast of the Queenship of the Blessed Virgin Mary on May 31st.

The Octave Day of the Assumption
With the revision of the Roman Calendar in 1969, the feast of the Immaculate Heart of Mary was moved from the Octave Day of the Assumption to the Saturday after the Solemnity of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. The feast of the Queenship of Mary was moved from May 31st to the Octave Day of the Assumption, and May 31st became the feast of the Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary. In 1974 Pope Paul VI explained the reason for this adjustment: the solemnity of the Assumption is continued into the celebration of the Queenship of Mary on the Octave Day. She who is enthroned next to the King of ages is contemplated as the radiant Queen and interceding Mother.

Pope Paul VI, writing in 1974, after the 1969 reform of the calendar, deliberately refers to the Octave Day of the Assumption. It would seem that he never intended the suppression of the Octave of the Assumption. Just as in the Glorious Mysteries of the Rosary the Coronation of the Blessed Virgin Mary follows the Assumption, so too does the feast of the Queenship of Mary on August 22nd complete and crown the celebration of her Assumption on August 15th.

bvm%20rue%20du%20bac.jpgThe Collect
The Collect for today’s feast calls Mary “our Mother and our Queen.” It echoes the language of the Salve Regina: “Hail, O Queen, Mother of mercy.” Mary’s participation in her Son’s work of redemption surpasses that of every other creature. Being the Mother of the Redeemer, she entered at the foot of the Cross into the bloody sacrifice of the Fruit of her womb, offering Him and offering herself with Him.

Mary is the Coredemptrix not because of any deficiency in the redemption wrought by Christ, but because the Father willed that it should be so. This was the Father’s design from all eternity: that Mary, the New Eve, should enter fully into the saving work of the New Adam; that with Him she should become “obedient unto death on the Cross” (Phil 2:8); and that with Him she should be exalted forever in glory (cf. Phil 2:9).

Mediatrix of All Graces
Mary is the Mediatrix of All Graces because the Father willed that His Son should be “born of a woman” (Gal 4:4). The Father has given us all things in His Son. Saint Paul writes to the Romans, saying: “He that spared not even His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how hath He not also, with Him, given us all things?” (Rom 8:32). “And of His fullness we all have received, and grace for grace” (Jn 1:16). Everything is given us in Christ. Christ is given us through Mary. Everything, then, is given us in Christ through Mary. Jesuit poet Gerard Manley Hopkins put it this way:

(Mary) mothers each new grace /
That does now reach our race.

The maternal role of Mary did not come to an end after the birth and childhood of her Son. Her participation in His divine mission grew and unfolded day by day, until on the day He suffered, she heard Him say from the Cross, “Woman, behold thy Son” (Jn 19:26). In that hour Mary became the mother of the Beloved Disciple and of every disciple until the end of time; and in that hour Our Lord provided her with the means to exercise her universal maternity freely and lavishly on behalf of all her children. This is the divine logic of her universal mediation. In his homily for the canonization of Saint Anthony of Saint Anne Galvão in Brazil last May 11th, Pope Benedict XVI pronounced one of the clearest statements ever made by the Popes on Mary as Mediatrix of All Graces. This is what the Holy Father said: “There is no fruit of grace in the history of salvation that does not have as its necessary instrument the mediation of Our Lady.”

Sovereign Lady and Queen
We, by calling Mary our Sovereign Lady and our Queen, confess her unique participation in the work of Christ our Sovereign Lord and our King, and acknowledge that her singular role as Coredemptrix and Mediatrix will continue until the end of time. What precisely is that role?

Queen Omnipotent in Her Supplication
Look for a moment at the Preface of today’s Mass (Preface 39, Collectio Missarum de BVM, p. 153). Echoing the invocation, O Clemens, of the Salve Regina, the Preface calls her the Queen of clemency. Our Lady obtains pardon and mercy even for those who are undeserving of it. She pleads the cause of sinners before the Throne of Grace. She is omnipotent in her supplication; that is to say that God can refuse her nothing. Mary is drawn to those who have most need of her. She places her all–powerful supplication at the service of the least of her children. She intercedes for those who have forgotten how to pray and for those who dare not pray. She prays, as Julian Green would say, for chaque homme dans sa nuit, for each man in his night.

Mater Misericordiae
Again drawing on the Salve Regina, the Preface calls her the Mother of Mercy. There is not a single moment of the day or night when Mary is not wholly attentive to each of her children in this valley of tears. She is the Mother who keeps a tireless vigil over the whole world. She is present to every single soul redeemed by the Blood of her Son. You need do nothing to get her attention; you already have it. You have only to lift your eyes to her radiance and pronounce her name.

Ministra Pietatis
Finally the Preface uses a remarkable expression in Latin. It calls Mary the Father’s ministra pietatis. She is the minister of God’s faithful tender love for each of us. She administers that love whenever and wherever it is needed. Our Lady is charged by God with dispensing the graces of his lovingkindness. Ministra pietatis: this particular title evokes the mystery of the Blessed Virgin’s universal mediation of graces. The graces of the Heart of Jesus are administered by her maternal hands.

Our Life, Our Sweetness, and Our Hope
She who was assumed body and soul into heaven remains present and attentive to all of us and to each of us as Mother and as Queen. She is our life, our sweetness, and our hope because God has so willed it.
By honouring Mary as Mother and as Queen we honour the infinite wisdom of God. By acknowledging her as Coredemptrix and Mediatrix of all graces, we say “Yes” to the inscrutable designs of God and gain for ourselves the advocacy of one who is omnipotent in her supplications on our behalf.

Monstra te esse Matrem

DSC06576-e1405520896931For the the Octave of the Assumption; the image is the statue of the Mother of God in the Chapter Room at Silverstream Priory.

I am your Mother, the Mother given you by my Son Jesus, from the Cross, in the solemn hour of His Sacrifice. And you are my son, dear to my Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart, precious to me, and ever under the mantle of my protection.

Let me live with you as I lived with John, the second son of my Heart and the model for all my priest sons down through the ages.

Speak to me simply and with complete trust in the compassion of my maternal Heart and in the power given to my maternal intercession. There is nothing that you cannot bring to me, nothing that you cannot present to me, nothing that you cannot offer me, even to your very sins.

Anything given to me by My sons, I press to my Heart; all that is impure, every vestige of sin is consumed in the flame of love that burns in my Immaculate Heart, in the fire of love that is the Holy Spirit in me, the very Fire of the Divinity. Give to me, then, all that you would offer to my Son and to His Father. It will be purified as gold in the furnace because I will press it to my Heart. Nothing impure can endure the flame of love that burns in my Heart. Only love remains.

Give me your weaknesses, your past sins, your daily faults, and I will present to my Son only the love with which, in spite of all your weaknesses, you desire to love Him, and with Him, love the Father. I am your Mother. I am the Mother from whom you need hide nothing. Even those things that you think are hidden appear clearly to me in the pure light of the Godhead.

When I see a priest son of mine disfigured or polluted by sin, I am moved, not to judge him but, to show him mercy and to employ all the means at my disposal for his full recovery from the vestiges of sin. So many of those who struggle against inveterate habits of sin and pernicious vices would find themselves quickly set free from them if they would only approach me with filial confidence and allow me to do for them what my maternal and merciful Heart moves me to do.

There are no limits to my intercessory power because the Father has so ordained it. One can never go wrong in turning to me. No matter how complex the problem, no matter how sordid the sin, I am the Handmaid of the Divine Mercy, the Refuge of Sinners, and the Mother of all who struggle against the forces of darkness. Come to me, then. I can even say those comforting words first spoken by my beloved Son: “Come to me, and I will give you rest.”

It is not enough to have some practices in my honour in the course of the day: I desire more, and you are called to more. You are called to reproduce the life of Saint John with me in the Cenacle and at Ephesus. If only you knew the bonds of love for Jesus, and of obedience to the Father, and of joy in the Holy Spirit that united John’s soul to Mine. We were the nucleus of a family of souls that has grown wondrously through the ages: the family of all those who, like John, lived with me, learned from me, and allowed me so to love them that love for my Jesus blazed in their hearts like a great fire, the fire that my Son came to cast upon the earth.
(From In Sinu Iesu, The Journal of a Priest)

At the School of Saint John Eudes

Priestly Union with the Blessed Virgin Mary
Today, 19 August, is the feast of Saint John Eudes, priest and ardent mystic of the Hearts of Jesus and Mary. Saint John Eudes is numbered among the few saints who lived a mystical espousal with the Most Holy Mother of God. Already as a young man, John Eudes placed a wedding band on the finger of a statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary. This was a portent of things to come. As a priest, a reformer of the clergy, and an outstanding preacher, he experienced the fruitfulness that results from what one must dare to call a spousal intimacy with the Mother of God. Saint John Eudes presents this grace as something to which all priests should aspire. To describe it he uses the French word alliance: covenant, bond, or union. Significantly, the same word is used to designate a wedding ring. I decided to translate the following passage from his Memorial on the Life of Ecclesiastics:

The Eternal Father
Consider that priests have a special alliance with the most holy Mother of God. This because, just as the Eternal Father made her participate in His divine paternity, and gave her the power to form in her womb the same Son whom He begets in His bosom, so too does He communicate to priests that same paternity, giving them power to form this same Jesus in the Holy Eucharist and in the hearts of the faithful.

The Son
As the Son made her [the Virgin Mary] His cooperator and coadjutrix (helpmate) in the work of the redemption of the world, so too does He make priests His cooperators and coadjutors in the work of saving souls.

The Holy Ghost
As the Holy Ghost, in an ineffable manner, associated her [the Virgin Mary] with Himself in the most divine of His operations, and in the masterpiece of His that is the mystery of the Incarnation of the Son of God, so too does He associate priests with Himself to bring about an extension and a continuation of this mystery in each Christian, in whom the Son of God, in some manner, incarnates Himself by means of Baptism and by the Holy Sacrament of the Altar.

Mediatrix of All Graces
Just as the Eternal Father gave us His Son through her [the Virgin Mary], so too does He give Him to us through His priests. Even as all the graces that come forth to us from the Heart of God pass through the hands of Mary, so too are they given us by the ministry of priests. This in such wise that, just as Mary is the treasurer of the Most Holy Trinity, priests too bear this title.

The Sacrifice of Christ
Finally, it is through her that Jesus was offered to His Father at the first and last moment of His life, when she received Him in her sacred womb, and when she accompanied Him to the sacrifice that He made of Himself on the cross; and it is by means of priests that He is immolated daily upon our altars.

Mother of the Sovereign Priest
This is why priests, being bound by so intimate an alliance and so marvelous a conformity to the Mother of the Sovereign Priest, have very particular obligations to love her, to honour her, and to clothe themselves in her virtues, in her spirit, and in her dispositions. Humble yourselves that you should find yourselves so far removed from this. Enter into the desire to tend thereto with all your heart. Offer yourselves to her, and pray her to help you mightily.

In Czestochowa

Upon arrival at Jasna Gora, the pilgrim has but one desire: to behold the face of the Mother of God and to pour out his heart before her. “Shew me thy face, let thy voice sound in my ears: for thy voice is sweet, and thy face comely” (Canticle 2:14).

Holy Mass at the altar of Saint Paul the First Hermit. Oblate Brother Athanasius served the Mass. Pilgrims assisted in a reverent silence, devoutly kneeling at the consecration.

Arrival at Jasna Gora

Arrival of the pilgrimage group at about 6:00 on the evening of the 14th. D. Elijah and Br Cassian are visible in the front.

With Mary, into the love of things invisible

I gave the following homily at the Church of Our Lady of Czestochowa in Józefów on Saturday morning 13th August 2016. The Polish text, translated by Natalia Lajszczak was read by the Reverend Father Bartosz Porzeziński. For the English text of the homily, scroll down.

IMG_0020Józefów, 13 sierpnia 2016

Msza na święta Najświętszej Maryi Panny rozpoczyna się słowami bezpośrednio zwróconymi do Matki Bożej. To samo w sobie jest bardzo niezwykłe. Zdecydowana większość antyfon na wejście w rycie rzymskim to słowa zaczerpnięte z psalmów, to wołanie do Boga: wołanie z niepokojem, wołanie z niezachwianą wiarą, wołanie w smutku, w radości, wołanie z uwielbieniem czy z dziękczynieniem. Dziś natomiast Kościół czerpie z twórczości Seduliusza, poety chrześcijańskiego z V wieku.
Dusza Kościoła wznosi się, by pozdrowić Najświętsza Matkę, która wydała na świat Króla. Druga część antyfony pochodzi z psalmu 44, który jest królewską pieśnią weselną. Matka Boża odpowiada w niej na pozdrowienie Kościoła. Jakimi słowami? „Z mego serca płynie piękne słowo; pieśń moją śpiewam dla Króla” (Ps 44,2). Cóż jest tym pięknym słowem wypowiedzianym przez Maryję? Czy to nie to samo słowo, na które czekało całe stworzenie? Czy to nie odpowiedź na zwiastowanie? „Oto ja służebnica Pańska, niechaj mi się stanie według słowa twego” (Łk 1, 38). A jaką pieśń Maryja śpiewa dla Króla? Czy to nie ta sama pieśń, którą ma na ustach w domu świętej Elżbiety? „Uwielbia dusza moja Pana.

I rozradował się duch mój w Bogu, Zbawicielu moim. Iż wejrzał na uniżenie służebnicy swojej. Bo oto błogosławioną zwać mię będą wszystkie
narody” (Łk 1, 46-48).

Dzisiejsza antyfona wyraźnie ma formę dialogu. To rozmowa między Kościołem
na ziemi, a Królową nieba. Po fragmencie z psalmu niebo i ziemia łączą się
we wspólnym wychwalaniu Ojca, Syna i Ducha Świętego. Poprzez tę antyfonę spoglądamy na tajemnicę każdej Mszy Świętej. Jest ona wypełnieniem tego, co zobaczył Jakub: „We śnie ujrzał drabinę opartą na ziemi, sięgającą swym wierzchołkiem nieba, oraz aniołów Bożych, którzy wchodzili w górę i schodzili na dół.”

W czytaniu zaczerpniętym z Mądrości Syracha słyszymy słowa samej Matki Bożej. Maryja przemawia do Kościoła zebranego na Świętej Ofierze. Ta, która jest „pełna łaski” (Łk 1,28) mówi nam o miejscu, które od zawsze miała w sercu Boga, o swoim udziale we Wcieleniu, o swojej roli w życiu Kościoła na ziemi i w niebie. „A przebywanie moje – mówi Maryja – w zgromadzeniu świętych” (Syr 24, 16).

Śpiewając graduał i alleluja, Kościół odpowiada na słowa Maryi. Tu także, podobnie jak w antyfonie, Kościół zwraca się bezpośrednio do Matki Boga, kontemplując ją jakby w uniesieniu. Użyłem słowa „uniesienie” celowo, bowiem kontemplując Niepokalaną zawsze wznosimy się ponad samych siebie ku Bożemu światłu. Spoglądając bowiem na Maryję lub słuchając tego, co mówi, jesteśmy porywani do „umiłowania rzeczy niewidzialnych”, in invisibilium amorem rapiamur, jak śpiewamy w prefacji o Bożym Narodzeniu.

Dzisiejsza Ewangelia jest bardzo krótka. Główną rolę odgrywa w niej anonimowa kobieta znajdująca się w tłumie zebranym wokół Jezusa, by słuchać Jego słów.
To niezwykłe. Tłum ten jest obrazem Kościoła wsłuchanego w Ewangelię świętą. Kobieta jest tak poruszona  słowami Jezusa, że nie potrafi milczeć. W Ewangelii czytamy, że odezwała się donośnym głosem, extollens vocem. Chce chwalić Jezusa, ale najlepszym sposobem na wychwalanie Syna wydaje jej się wysławianie Jego Matki. Jezus zwraca się do niej bezpośrednio: „Raczej ci są błogosławieni, którzy słuchają słowa Bożego i strzegą go” (Łk 11, 28). Słowa te mają znaczyć: „Ty także możesz być uczestnikiem świętości mojej dziewiczej Matki, jeśli tak jak ona będziesz słuchać moich słów i zachowasz je w sercu.”

W antyfonie na ofiarowanie Kościół w duchu radości powtarza słowa archanioła Gabriela  i łączy je ze słowami świętej Elżbiety. Znaczące jest to, że mamy tu do czynienia ze słowami pochodzącymi z nieba, przyniesionymi na ziemię przez anioła oraz ze słowami wypowiedzianymi na ziemi, w górzystej Judei, w okrzyku podziwu wydanym przez Elżbietę, żonę Zachariasza. Gdy zatem pozdrawiamy pełną łaski Maryję słowami tej modlitwy, szczególnie powtarzając ją pokornie w różańcu, niebo przybliża się do ziemi, a ziemia do nieba.

Antyfona na komunię, którą w dawniejszych czasach powtarzano kilkakrotnie podczas  podchodzenia wiernych do Komunii, potwierdza, że Najświętsza Eucharystia jest prawdziwie Ciałem Chrystusa utworzonym w łonie Maryi przez Ducha Świętego, noszonym przez Nią pod sercem przez dziewięć miesięcy, narodzonym w Betlejem i wykarmionym przez Najświętszą Matkę. Przyjmując Komunię Świętą, łączymy się w jedno Ciało, którego głową jest Chrystus. Podobnie każda Komunia Święta zacieśnia naszą więź z Maryją, jako matką całego Chrystusa, matką głowy Kościoła i matką ciała Kościoła. Ta, która urodziła tu na ziemi Syna Przedwiecznego Ojca, opiekuje się dalej jak matka wszystkimi członkami Ciała Chrystusa, czyli Kościoła. Wszyscy, którzy przyjmują Ciało Jej Syna są bliscy Jej matczynemu sercu, bowiem w każdym z nich rozpoznaje Ona Jego samego, kocha Go i stale ofiarowuje Ojcu.

To tylko kilka drobnych rozważań na temat dzisiejszej liturgii. Oby w jakiś sposób pozwoliły wam one otworzyć się na skarby doktryny i pobożności, i na życie zawarte w liturgii Kościoła. Liturgia bowiem nigdy się nie starzeje, nigdy nie jest nudna i nigdy nie traci smaku. Liturgia Kościoła, wszystko to, co znajduje się w Mszale, jest niewyczerpanym źródłem. Zawsze świeża, zawsze nowa, zawsze pełna czystej słodyczy Boga. Gustate et videte quoniam suavis est Dominus. „Skosztujcie i zobaczcie, jak dobry jest Pan” (Ps 33,9).

The Mass of the Blessed Virgin Mary on Saturday opens with an Introit addressed directly to the Mother of God. This, in itself, is most unusual. The vast number of introits of the Roman Rite, taken from the Psalms, are a cry going up to God: a cry of distress, of confidence, of hope, of sorrow, of jubilation, of praise, or of thanksgiving. Today, however, the Church draws upon the artistry of Sedulius, a Christian poet of the fifth century. The soul of the Church rises to greet the Holy Mother who brought forth the King. The verse is taken from Psalm 44, a royal wedding song. In it the Mother of God responds to the greeting of the Church. And what does she say? «My heart hath uttered a good word: I speak my works to the King» (Psalm 44:1). What is the good word that Mary has uttered? Is it not the word for which the whole creation waited? Is it not her response to the message of the Angel? «Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it done to me according to thy word» (Luke 1:38). And what are the works that Mary speaks to the King? Are they not the verses of praise that came to flower on her lips in the Magnificat? « My soul doth magnify the Lord. And my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour. Because he hath regarded the humility of his handmaid; for behold from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed» (Luke 1: 46–48).

It is clear that today’s Introit is a dialogue: a conversation between the Church on earth and the Queen of Heaven. After the psalm verse, earth and heaven join together in praise of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost. In this one introit, we are given a window into the mystery of every Holy Mass. The liturgy is the fulfilment, daily, in our churches of what Jacob saw at Bethel in a dream: «And he saw in his sleep a ladder standing upon the earth, and the top thereof touching heaven: the angels also of God ascending and descending by it».

IMG_0073In the lesson of the Mass, taken from the book of Ecclesiasticus, it is the Mother of God who speaks. She opens her mouth in the assembly, that is in the Church gathered for the Holy Sacrifice. She who is «full of grace» (Luke 1:28) speaks to us of her place from all eternity in the heart of God, of her place in the economy of the Incarnation, of her place in the life of the Church on earth and in heaven. «And my abode», says Mary, «is in the full assembly of the saints» (Ecclesiasticus 24:16).

In the chant of the Gradual and the Alleluia, the Church responds to Mary’s discourse. Here again, as in the Introit, the Church addresses the Mother of God directly in a kind of ecstatic contemplation. I say «ecstatic» designedly, because the contemplation of the Immaculate always draws us out of ourselves and upwards into the light of God. One cannot gaze upon Mary, nor can one listen to her utterances, without being caught up, as we sing in the Preface of the Mass of Christmas, «to the love of things unseen», in invisibilium amorem rapiamur.

The Gospel given us in this Mass is very brief. It is unique in that, in it, the central place is occupied by an anonymous woman in the multitude of those who are gathered about Jesus to listen to Him. The multitude listening to Jesus is already an image of the Church, here present, listening to the Holy Gospel. A woman in the multitude is so touched by the words of Jesus that she cannot contain herself. The Gospel says that she lifted up her voice, extollens vocem. She wants to praise Jesus, but can think of no better way of praising the Son than by glorifying the Mother. Jesus then addresses the woman directly: «Yea rather, blessed are they who hear the word of God, and keep it» (Luke 11:28). He is, in effect, saying to the woman: «You also can participate in my Virgin Mother’s blessedness, if you, like her, hear my word and hold it in your heart».

In the Offertory Antiphon, the Church, in a spirit of jubilation, repeats the words of the Angel Gabriel and joins them to the words of Saint Elizabeth. This is significant: there is phrase originating in heaven, and brought to earth by an Angel, and a phrase originating on earth, in the hill country of Judea, and uttered in a cry of admiration by Elisabeth, the wife of Zachary. The «Ave Maria» antiphon of the Offertory suggests that, whenever we address Mary full of grace, in these words, especially in the humble repetition of the rosary, heaven is brought closer to earth, and earth brought closer to heaven.

The Communion Antiphon, which, in ancient times, would have been repeated throughout the procession of communicants, confesses that the Most Holy Eucharist is the very Body of Christ, formed by the Holy Ghost, carried for nine months in Mary’s virginal womb, born of her at Bethlehem, and nourished at her breast. The reception of Holy Communion unites us as one Body to Christ our Head, and as members of that same Body joined to each other. At the same time, every Holy Communion intensifies and deepens our relationship with Mary, for she is Mother of the whole Christ, Head and members. She who bore the Son of the Eternal Father, giving Him birth once in time, continues to mother His members. She holds close to her maternal Heart all who receive the Body of her Son, for in each one of His members she recognises Him, loves Him, and offers Him again and again to the Father.

These are but a few little thoughts on this Mass of Our Lady on Saturday. May they serve, in some way, to awaken each of you to the treasures of doctrine, of piety, and life contained in the liturgy of the Church. The liturgy of the Church never grows old, it is never dull, and never without savour. The liturgy of the Church — all that you find in the Missal — is an inexhaustible source. It is always fresh, always new, always full of the very sweetness of God. Gustate et videte quoniam suavis est Dominus. «O taste, and see that the Lord is sweet» (Psalm 33:9).

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Situated amidst pasture land and forest in the eastern reaches of County Meath, Silverstream Priory was founded in 2012 at the invitation of the Most Reverend Michael Smith, Bishop of Meath, and canonically erected as an autonomous monastery of diocesan right on 25 February 2017. The property belonged, from the early 15th century, to the Preston family, premier Viscounts of Ireland and Lords of Gormanston. In 1843 Thomas Preston (1817-1903), son of Jenico Preston, the 12th Viscount (1775-1860), built what today is Silverstream Priory.

Silverstream Priory is a providential realisation of the cherished project of Abbot Celestino Maria Colombo, O.S.B. (1874–1935), who, following the impetus given by Catherine–Mectilde de Bar in the 17th century, sought to establish a house of Benedictine monks committed to ceaseless prayer before the Most Holy Sacrament of the Altar in a spirit of reparation. The community of Silverstream Priory holding to the use of Latin and Gregorian Chant, celebrate the Divine Office in its traditional Benedictine form and Holy Mass in the “Usus Antiquior” of the Roman Rite. Praying and working in the enclosure of the monastery, the monks of Silverstream keep at heart the sanctification of priests labouring in the vineyard of the Lord. They undertake various works compatible with their monastic vocation, notably the development of the land and gardens, hospitality to the clergy in need of a spiritual respite, scholarly work, and publishing.

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