Solesmes A Thousand Years Are but as One Day in Thy Sight A Thousand Years Are but as One Day in Thy Sight 1833 to the Present
Hi hi voyez ce que jai fait à droite !| Part II Part II The Work of Dom Guéranger: RESTORATION RESTORATION
To be BORN ANEW To those who carry in themselves… … the desire to be … the desire to be born anew… Crucifix at the Altar of Saint Ann at Solesmes
A love story which begins – or starts again – with the young Prosper Pascal Guéranger. It all began during childhood, when Prosper went to pray in the church of Solesmes, contemplating the "Saints".
To be born anew, to rise again is to enter into communion with the paschal Jesus, He who always vivifies His Church. He by whom the monastic life was going to be reborn in France bore among one of his names at baptism the name Pascal.
"Let us now praise famous men, and our fathers in their generations… There are some of them who have left a name, so that men declare their praise. Their prosperity will remain with their descendants, and their inheritance to their childrens children. Their descendants stand by the covenants; their children also, for their sake" (Sirac 44. 1,8,11-12). History unfolds like the Gospel genealogy ; History unfolds like the Gospel genealogy ; a history which continues from father to son, as the Sage says:
Abraham begot Isaac. Abraham begot Isaac. Isaac begot Jacob. Isaac begot Jacob. Jacob begot… Jacob begot…
How great is the mystery of our heritage ! The mystery of our inheritance ! How great is the mystery of our heritage ! The mystery of our inheritance !
Sainte Suzanne It was in an old fortified city in the northern part of Sablé that Pierre Guéranger married Françoise Jarry in 1797. The couple had 6 sons, two of whom died young. Prosper- Pascal was the third of four surviving sons.
Dom Guéranger Dom Guéranger Plaza extends over the site of the neighbouring church, which has since disappeared. Prosper was a child when his father, a teacher, acquired an old residence which belonged to the priory of Solesmes, precisely the house where the monks of Solesmes took refuge during the Hundred Years War. The Guéranger family lived in this building, which also served as a school, between 1806 and 1821.
of the former parish church where Prosper of the former parish church where Prosper was baptized on the same day that he was born on the evening of April 4, 1805.
Two of his brothers Constantine, the youngest, pastor of the Chapel of Saint-Aubin, near Mans, nicknamed by Prosper: "My brother the wolf" Edward, who will become a pharmacist at Mans, will be a veritable friend to Dom Guéranger and the monastery.
St. Vincent Seminary Fr. Guéranger entered there in 1823 Blessed Basile Moreau was professor of dogma.
Prosper Guéranger at 21 years Too young to be ordained priest, he was providentially offered the post of secretary to Bishop de la Myre of Mans.
On October 7, 1827, Prosper Guéranger was ordained priest at Tours.
Cathédrale Saint-Julien au Mans Father Guéranger was master of ceremonies there before becoming a canon of the cathedral. He will preach there on several occasions. Saint-Juliens Cathedral at Mans
Tragedy begins : in the spring of 1831, the announcement of the priory being put up for sale makes the young priest jump.
What didnt they imagine in order to find a buyer? The building could become… a minor seminary, a glass factory, a slate warehouse… The monastery risked becoming prey to those who were at that time called The Black Band". Henry Lenoir de Chantelou had bought the priory in 1791. In 1812, he demanded from Emperor Napoleon that the statues of the church at Solesmes, at that time coveted by the prefect of Sarthe, be conserved. From Vilnius, in Lithuania, Napoleon signed a decree that accorded the priory to de Chantelou. In 1825, the priory passed into the hands of three rich proprietors of the region.
"In the course of the spring of 1831, " recounts Dom Guéranger, "the newspapers inserted in their announcements the putting up for sale of the priory of Solesmes which they qualified as an abbey. This news made a great impression on me. This monument so loved since childhood, exposed perhaps to strange vicissitudes…"
"With the announcement of Solesmes on sale continuing to appear in the newspapers, " reflected Dom Guéranger, "I could not bear the thought of seeing this house being used, and so I sought a way to save it. All of a sudden, towards the month of June, the idea came to me that if I could gather a few young priests there, we could reestablish the Order of Saint Benedict there with the Divine Office and studies." The purchase of the priory proved to be indispensable: left unattended, the proprietors would have begun to demolish it. To put a stop to this act of vandalism, Father Guéranger hastened to negotiate the location, submitted to his Bishop Carron the names of the priests who had promised their support, and obtained his consent.
Great was he emotion of this promenade on that one summer day! The world of such expressive statues was still there, in that ambiance of peace and freshness which every visitor entering the old church feels. The "RORATE COELI", that prayer of Advent which implores the end of the exile and the return of God to his temple, was chanted by the two priests. Dom Guéranger Dom Guéranger went to Sablé in July 1831. One of the vicars there brought him to visit the endangered priory.
Altarpiece of the Visitation of Mans "The need of the Church seemed to be so urgent, the ideas of true Christianity so false and so compromised in the ecclesiastical and secular world, that I could not see anything other than to found a center of recollection and to revive the pure traditions." The Visitation of Mans was invited to begin a novena of prayers on the 7 th of December, 1831. "During the first few days, I was praying in the chapel and I was seized by an interior inspiration to consecrate the work of reestablishing the Benedictines in France to the Sacred Heart of Jesus."
" I myself was consecrated to the Sacred Heart on Holy Thursday in 1823. I vowed to ask the Bishop the favour of a Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament in honour of the Sacred The monastery church and the parish church Heart, the first Friday of each month, when we will have been established, and to erect an altar to the Sacred Heart in the church of our monastery."
On March 21, 1833, in the parish church of Solesmes, Father Guéranger chanted for the first time the Mass of Saint Benedict, while his companion filled in as cantor with an old Roman gradual in folio. Assisting were two old ladies and an unexpected guest who came to write an article on the sculptures of Solesmes.
At first the project seemed utopian. The Benedictines did not have the right of citizenship in France, not any more than all the other religious orders. The Revolution had outlawed religious vows, "engagements contrary to the natural rights of man". Napoleon did not want monks who were qualified as "useless" ! However, the little group is established at Solesmes on July 11, 1833.
Le 11 juillet 1833 Around thirty priests accompany the first "monks" from the parish church to the priory. July 11, 1833: Feast of Saint Benedict 44 years after the Revolution, monastic life resumed at Solesmes. The "Roman" Mass is chanted; everyone listens to a sermon of an old confessor of the faith of the revolutionary years. "From Vespers of this great day, the Divine Office has never been interrupted in our church."
Shortly afterwards, a visitor presents herself, asking to see the prior. "Father, I heard that the Benedictine life is about to be reborn at Solesmes. Is this true?" "Yes, Madame." "Then it is to you that an inheritance which a dying aunt had delegated to me should fall. My aunt had come to the rescue of the monks during the Revolution; she hid the superior general of the Congregation of Saint Maurus, Dom Ambrose Augustine Chevreux. He had confided in her safekeeping these personal objects: here is a pastel portrait of him, the seal of the Congregation, this beautiful book." "Madame, its an antiphonary! Heaven has sent you! You are bringing us the blessing of our spiritual ancestor! His heritage!"
Père abbé Dom Guéranger Dom Gardereau Dom Gourbeillon Among the first monks Dom Fonteinne Father Osouf Father Osouf Brother Placid L abbatiale Dom Guéranger
Euphrasie Cosnard benefactress of the monastery (1809-1879) At Sablé, there were two pious persons who loved Dom Guéranger very much, a little like Martha and Mary had loved Jesus and were loved by Him. Their names were Marie and Euphrasie Cosnard. He guided them in their spiritual life, counselling confidence and abandonment. All their life, they remained devoted friends of Dom Guéranger. Marie Cosnard (1798-1855) The "Holy Women" of Solesmes
~~~ Les saintes femmes de Solesmes ~~~ Their home resembled this, with its rounded roof, typical of the region.
In these early first years, a Russian woman immigrant will also be Dom Guérangers protectress, Mme Swetchine. Sofia Petrovna Swetchina, n é e So ï monov, Moscow 1782 - Paris 1857, wife of General Swetchine. The couple left Russia for Paris, where Madame Swetchine kept a celebrated salon which gathered the most important Catholic personalities of the time.
The new Benedictines waited for three years before adopting the monastic habit. They wore the soutane and, in order to allow the people to become accustomed to the reapparition of the frock, they went out enveloped in a large cape with a pointed hood. On August 14, 1836, for First Vespers of the Assumption, they descended into choir dressed in a tunic, with a leather belt. Dom Guéranger took the scapular and cowl which were on the altar, put them on, and gave the habit to his companions.
…recited the text in chanting the Word of God, which took all its meaning in the expression of the psalmody and the melody. Dom Guéranger instinctively discovered the first secret of the "Solesmes Method". F r o m t h e b e g i n n i n g, t h e n e w m o n k s c h a n t e d i n a n i m p r e s s i v e m a n n e r : t h e y c h a n t e d t h e t e x t … The Chant of Monks
…to ask for approbation for the enterprise he has undertaken at Solesmes. Its all based on hope, hope against all hope: while so many new congregations are soliciting the Pope, will the approbation of his work and the Constitutions of Solesmes be accorded to this young unknown? 1837: in Rome Dom Guéranger meets in audience with Pope Gregory XVI…
Mater Providentiae In July 1796, this Roman Madonna miraculously shed tears. To her, kneeling before her image on a little street of the Eternal City, the very same day as her feast, the young prior of Solesmes confides all his expectations… ~~~ So p pp prayed D DD Dom Guéranger on J JJ July 9, 1837. ~~~
And behold the response! The Papal Brief "Innumeras inter" By the papal brief of September 1, 1837, Gregory XVI confirmed the Constitutions of Solesmes, erected the priory into an abbey and named Dom Guéranger Abbot of Solesmes. Abbot of Solesmes. "Monsieur "Monsieur Guéranger is the perpetual abbot of Solesmes, having ring, cross and miter, and head of the Congregation of the Benedictines of France, affiliated to Monte Cassino. It is a marvellous outcome and ought to augment in us more and more our love for the Church of Rome." Rome." ( Mme ( Mme Swetchine)
During each of his four voyages to Rome, Dom Guéranger brought with him the key to the monastery – represented here – to deposit it before the Confession of Saint Peter. Dom Guéranger was deeply impressed by this great act: by the mouth of the successor of Peter, the Church had pronounced itself in favor of his work. Solesmes received the mission of leading and propagating the monastic life in France according to Saint Benedict. Solesmes was thus recognized as beneficial to the Church. Solesmes therefore would survive all difficulties, present and future.
On July 26, 1837 1837, Dom Guéranger pronounced his vows before the altar of the sacristy of Saint Paul Outside-the-Walls.
Chart of Profession of Dom Guéranger Chart of Profession of Dom Guéranger
Dom Guéranger Returns to Solesmes Solesmes Everything was done with simplicity. Coming by route of Notre-Dame-du- Chêne, he disembarked from the coach at the entrance of the village bearing his papal insignia, and entered the abbey at the sound of the bells, while the monks accompanying him chanted the psalm "In convertendo" (Ps 125/126). In choir, one of the monks read the papal brief, and First Vespers of All Saints was celebrated. The event soon became known throughout the region. At first, people came out of curiosity: a Benedictine abbot seemed to be such a strange personage. Then little by little, the nave of the abbatial church found back its solitude. Rare were visitors at that time; Leon Landeau, young owner of the marble factory, was often alone assisting at the Offices, with the company of a blind man, which caused the neighbors to say: "Beautiful ceremonies, but there is only a blind man to see it all ! "
Manuscript s His "worktable" His "worktable" Books published by Dom Guéranger
loffice divin The true riches of the abbey were the monastic family Dom Guéranger did not conceive of his abbatial charge as other than that of the thought of Saint Benedict. The monastery is the "house of God"; yes, the church is the house of God par excellence; the monastery is therefore a microcosm of the Church. The head is none other than Jesus Christ, acting through His visible representative: the Abbot The true riches were also: Liturgical life Studies The Church of Rome The Divine Office Gregorian chant
Gregorian Chant Manuscripts Dom Guéranger had a very sharp second intuition, shortly after that of verbal rhythm: he wanted his monks to chant like "our fathers of the Middle Ages" and had the manuscripts which were conserved in various libraries of chant copied. This was the beginning of musical paleography and the work of restoration of Gregorian chant.
The Foundation of Sainte-Cécile of Solesmes Feminine Presence in the XIX th Century Dom Guéranger Guéranger never dreamed nor ever had the desire to make a foundation for moniales. It was, however, the joy of his last years. And so was born the Monastery of Sainte-Cécile of Solesmes ( 1866 ), whose first abbess, Mother Cécile Cécile Bruyère Bruyère ( 1845-1909 ), benefited from the spiritual and paternal guidance of om Dom Guéranger.
Light and Strength: Light and Strength: Mother Cécile Bruyère Mother Cécile Bruyère "Common sense told me that the hours were only sixty minutes, but He for whom a thousand years are but as one day proved to me a hundred times that He is the Master of Time, as of all things." One ought to pray without ceasing: this interior prayer, without words, is nothing other than the very simple exercise of the love of God. One ought to pray without ceasing: this interior prayer, without words, is nothing other than the very simple exercise of the love of God. This atmosphere of prayer ought to penetrate our life, from the time we wake up to the time we go to sleep, and, moreover, when we sleep, it is in the arms of God; a continual prayer penetrates all our being like perfume. This perfume of prayer ought to be exhaled by a moniale. moniale.
Dom Guéranger January 30, 1875 Dom Guéranger gave back his beautiful soul to God on January 30, 1875. His successor, Father Abbot Dom Charles Couturier and Mother Abbess Cécile Bruyère kept his heritage alive.
Dom Guéranger, by Henri Charlier In 1937, on the occasion of the centenary of the Benedictine Congregation of France, the sculptor Henri Charlier realized an effigy of Dom Guéranger which one can see in the crypt where the body of the first Abbot of Solesmes reposes.
The Abbey of Solesmes suffers violence… After the trials of the Middle Ages, the Hundred Years War and the Wars of Religion, the XIX th and XX th centuries bring their share of violence and persecution: two expulsions, exile, the Wars of 1914 and 1940. How many times would the community have perished? It always revived, just like Easter brings Life after Good Friday. As an example, here is the account of the first expulsion during the time of Father Abbot Dom Charles Couturier.
The Time of the Expulsions The Attack of November 6, 1880 Father Abbot Dom Couturier It is 6: 30. The monks finish Matins. " How they prayed well under the obscure vaults illumined only by the candles of the altar. The faith was ardent in all hearts and we were happy to die martyrs…" "Get ready, the guards are arriving, " warned Dom Couturier. From the bell tower, where six monks had received the obedience to lock themselves up, the bell is heard. At the gate of the monastery, the police commissioner asks to see Father Abbot. The latter presents himself. What do these gentlemen want? They come to notify him of an arrest by the prefect of Sarthe ordering the dispersion of the Congregation.
" Would Father Abbot open? We will give him a reading of the order, and we will deliver a copy of it to him. " " This is illegal!" responds Dom Couturier. "This arrest is void." The wicket is closed. New summons. No response. An order is given to lockpickers to force open the gate. The little entrance gate, made of oak, is 4 cm thick and is reinforced with blocks of stone and beams. Three quarters of an hour is needed to get to the end of it while the crowd on sight begins to exclaim : " Long live religion! Long live liberty! Long live the monks! Down with decrees! " Profession binds monks to their monastery, and force alone would make them leave. If it took four hours to expel seventeen monks from their cells, how long will it take for sixty who occupy the church?
The Return of 1894-1896 "During these years, the monks lived in the village. It was a curious thing to see the monks stride the street of the town in clogs, cowl and books under the arms, morning and evening with lanterns, because the street was not lighted. When the weather was fair, it was not very embarrassing, but when it rained! There were no umbrellas and no overcoats. So they arrived at the church or the refectory, garments wet, feet soaked… I didnt hear any monk complain." The return of the monks and campaign of constructions The situation of the expelled First hopes of return Return home and new departure Tiptoeing back home Progressive return to normal New constructions The departure of the guards
1909 : Auction of the Abbey In 1901, as a consequence of the antireligious laws of the Third Republic, the two communities of monks and moniales of Solesmes went into exile in England, on the Isle of Wight. The Law of 1901 and the Departure for Exile
The monks and moniales returned from exile in 1922. And life continued – it still continues. Each monastery, each soul consecrated to God lives through its mysteries, joyful, sorrowful, luminous, glorious. We will not write all this history, we have to live it, "in adding, each one, his own little pebble."
The Successors Dom Guéranger 1833-1875 1833-1875 Dom Charles Couturier 1875-1890 1875-1890 Dom Paul Delatte 1890-1921 1890-1921 Dom Germain Cozien 1921-1959 1921-1959 Dom Jean Prou 1959-1992 1959-1992 Dom Philippe Dupont 1992- Dom Philippe Dupont 1992-
Daughters of Mother Cécile Bruyère Wisques (1889) Pax Cordis Iesu (Angleterre, 1950) (Angleterre, 1950) Kergonan (1898) Keur Guillaye (Sénégal, 1970) (Sénégal, 1970) Martinique (1977) Westfield (USA, 1981) Ste-Marie des Deux-Montagnes (Canada, 1936) (Canada, 1936) Sainte-Cécile of Solesmes Mother Cécile Bruyère 1845 1909 1866 Moniales:
The Abbey of Saint-Pierre of Solesmes, being the head and mother of all the Congregation, assumed the title of "Congregation of Solesmes"; thus it affirmed the family spirit uniting all the monasteries of monks and moniales of which it is composed. It is formed, in effect, by the union of several autonomous monasteries issued one from the other ; all in communion with the same ideal and the same heritage received from Dom Guéranger, each one keeping in the midst of this unity its own autonomy and proper character.
Solesmes 1833 Ganagobie 1858 St-Wandrille 1894 Wisques 1889 Clervaux 1890 La Source 1893 Kergonan 1897 Quarr 1922 Fongombault 1941 Randol 1971 Triors 1984 Donezan 1994 Clear Creek 1999 Vaals 1951 Ligugé 1853 St-Benoît- du-Lac 1912 Martinique 1947 Silos 1880 Madrid 1939 Leyre 1954 Los Caidos 1958 Séguéya 2004 Monks: The Foundations by Filiation Keur Moussa 1961 Palendriai 1998
"A thousand years are but as one day in the eyes of the Lord," says the psalmist ( Ps 89/90.4 ). "On this day in the eyes of the Lord, we each one have our little place for a few moments; that is to say, those moments pass very rapidly, but they are filled with a multitude of events, happy or dramatic… " Dom Philippe Dupont Abbot of Solesmes
"Dom Guéranger regards our monasteries as little cells of the Church…" Dom Philippe Dupont Abbot of Solesmes
Solesmes Solesmes is a name that chants; a name which chants the Gregorian melody of the ancient Roman liturgy. Solesmes Solesmes also chants the love of the Church in the midst of its fidelity to the Pope, successor of Peter. This love of the Church, this fidelity to the Roman Church and to the Holy Father were delegated to us by Dom Guéranger Solesmian monks. and constitutes an important part of our identity as Solesmian monks. Dom Philippe Dupont Abbot of Solesmes
Fontgombault Salve Regina Moniales Monks Sainte Cécile of Solesmes Wisques Sainte-Marie des Deux-Montagnes Kergonan Ryde Keur-Guilaye Westfield Sainte-Marie des Anges S. Pierre of Sole smes Ganagobie Clervaux Kergonan Quarr Ligugé Silos Paris St Wandrille Wisques St-Benoît-du-Lac Keur Moussa Randol Triors Donezan Clear Creek Segueya Palendriai Madrid Vaals Martinique Leyre Los Caidos
As most of you know, I had the grace and honor of having been received in audience by our Holy Father last Friday, on the occasion of the celebration of the Millennium of the Foundation of Solesmes. It was a very moving moment, but at the same time very simple, the Pope being so close and attentive to all that was said to him. He kept me for close to a quarter of an hour. I was able to speak of our monastery, evidently, of Dom Guéranger, as well as our Congregation about which I gave a rapid tour. He keeps all of us in his prayer and in his blessing, counting also on our prayer. We know his esteem for Benedictine monastic life and for beautiful liturgy; this is great encouragement for us that we may remain faithful to our vocation as disciples of Saint Benedict and Dom Guéranger. Be assured that I have carried all your intentions and those of your community in my pilgrimages to the Roman basilicas, and be assured of my devotion in the Lord and his Mother. + Br. Philippe Dupont, Abbot January 15, 2010 Letter to Abbots and Abbesses of the Congregation of Solesmes
2010 Pax Christi veniat. Regnum Christi veniat. Deo gratias. Amen! Deo gratias. Amen! 1010 2010
Dom Thierry Barbeau, Mille ans dhistoire à lAbbaye de Solesmes 2010 Sources : Dom Louis Soltner, Solesmes et Dom Guéranger Dom Guy-M. Oury, Dom Guéranger, moine au cœur de lÉglise Dom Thierry Barbeau, Mille ans dhistoire à lAbbaye de Solesmes Website of the Monks of Solesmes: Click here : www.abbayedesolesmes.fr www.sm2m.ca Website of the moniales of Sainte-Marie : Click here : Text and Mounting: Benedictine Moniales of the Abbaye Sainte-Marie des Deux-Montagnes (Canada) Dom Paul Delatte, Vie de Dom Guéranger, abbé de Solesmes