Rorate Caeli

A Break for Good News: From the Abbey of Saint Mary of Lagrasse
- Ordinations, a Prize - and a beautiful video

Video: "A Day at the Abbey"[Update: now also available at Youtube]

A Traditional Catholic Jewel in the Languedoc: the Abbey of Saint Mary of Lagrasse (Abbaye de Sainte-Marie de Lagrasse) of the Canons Regular of the Mother of God (Chanoines Réguliers de la Mère de Dieu), right outside Lagrasse, near Carcassone (Aude).

From there come two items that fill us with hope in our difficult times for the Church and for Europe.

1. Ordinations.

On September 27, 2014, H.E. Nicolas Brouwet, Bishop of Lourdes-Tarbes, ordained to the holy priesthood Brother Hilaire and Brother André of the Community. It was the second celebration of Priestly Ordinations this year alone for the vibrant traditional community.

At the moment, the community includes 34 religious, of which most are priests or on the way to the priesthood; they are also active in the apostolate in whole France to celebrate the Mass exclusively according to the traditional Roman Rite. There is also a female branch of the community in the nearby village of Azille.

2. Restoration Prize.

The grounds occupied by the Abbey have hosted a religious community since the 7th century - a Benedictine Abbey was located in these Romanesque buildings for most of its history. One of the major works of the Canons has been to painstakingly restore the buildings to their former beauty.

Just this week the Fondation pour les Monuments Historiques unveiled their winner for the 2014 Grand Trophy for the Most Beautiful Restoration, and the 30,000-euro prize went to the Abbey for excellence in restoration. The Grand Trophy is chosen and awarded jointly by the Foundation, Le Figaro Magazine, Propriétés de France, and the La Demeure Historique foundation, and is the most prestigious national restoration award for private buildings open to the public.

Le Figaro Magazine, October 12, 2014: "The Rebirth of an Abbey Destined to Ruin"
Le Figaro Magazine, the weekly magazine of the largest French daily, Le Figaro, dedicated several pages of its latest issue to the Abbey, the restoration, and the prize.

The video in the beginning of this post was also produced by Le Figaro on the occasion of the granting of this award.

Additional Information:

Website of the Regular Canons and the Abbey (with information in English, and vocations, including for the female branch) here:

Many more images of the Ordinations here.