Bethlehem Abbey Cistercian Family Blog

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We hope that the reflections given here can be a jumping off point for your own study and response, and how you find a way to incorporate the teachings into your daily living.  And remember St Benedict’s advice: Every time you begin a good work, you must pray to God most earnestly to bring it to perfection (Rule of St Benedict, Prologue).

To complement the short articles offered here we will, from time to time, provide some titles for recommended reading: RECOMMENDED READING.

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The Irish News…

The Irish News: Solitude, not isolation – Cistercians share their ancient tradition amid coronavirus

An article by Fr Aelred Magee OCSO of Bethlehem Abbey, recently published by The Irish News as part of their regular ‘Faith Matters’ column. Click on the title above to read…

All posts…

20th September – The Korean Martyrs

Today, 20th September, the Church celebrates the feast of the Korean martyrs, St Andrew Kim Taegon and his companions.  Apart from the terrible accounts of the persecution which the early Korean believers had to undergo as Christianity established itself in the Korean peninsula, and their subsequent torture and executions, one thing above all must always be remembered and discussed when we call to mind these Korean faith witnesses: the Church in Korea began not with evangelisation carried out by indigenous or foreign missionaries bringing and sowing the seed of the Word of God and the sacramental life of the Church, but by the thirst and supernatural desire of the Korean lay men and women who allowed a holy curiosity to draw them toward the faith. 

Solemnity of Our Father St Bernard of Clairvaux, Abbot and Doctor of the Church (20th August)

Just a few years after Robert of Molesmes left the Black Monks and journeyed a short distance to found a New Monastery, with a few monastic companions, at a marshy place outside Dijon called Cîteaux, thus giving his new monastic enterprise their name – Cistercians – it seemed as if the venture would fail.  TheContinue reading Solemnity of Our Father St Bernard of Clairvaux, Abbot and Doctor of the Church (20th August)

More on St Rafael Arnaiz Baron, Cistercian Oblate – 27th April

Today we keep the memory of a Cistercian saint of the 20th century, St Rafael (1911 – 1938).  A gifted young man, who studied architecture and showed himself a talented and perceptive artist, he was captivated by the Cistercian monastic life and entered the Spanish monastery of San Isidro.  However, he soon became ill withContinue reading “More on St Rafael Arnaiz Baron, Cistercian Oblate – 27th April”

St Patrick’s Day

To celebrate the solemnity of the Apostle of the Irish, the one who enlightened us by sowing the seed of the Gospel among us, we would like to offer a splendid poem, attributed to the Irish monk Oengus Céili Dé, and in translation by Thomas Kinsella.  It recalls Patrick’s own Breastplate and the invocation styleContinue reading “St Patrick’s Day”

-Bethlehem Abbey Cistercian Family-

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