Aristan Monks of Saint Vincent

Septmeber


 

    

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 Crowns and Palm Branches

Sacred Relics of Saint Vincent Archabbey

On View 


Free and Open to the public

 

 

anctæ reliquiæ. Holy Relics. Comprised of over 1,000 relics, Saint Vincent's relic collection encourages veneration and reverence of the saints. Many of the relics have been collected or authenticated by the founder of Saint Vincent, Archabbot Boniface Wimmer, O.S.B., (1809-1887). Saint Vincent is very blessed to possess a leg relic from a martyr of Otranto, canonized by Pope Francis this summer (The Otranto relic can be seen in the middle photo, above, during veneration on the day of their canonization). Many other relics were sealed and authenticated by Archabbot Denis Strittmatter, O.S.B., sixth Archabbot of Saint Vincent, who was also authorized to re-seal and re-document relics with broken seals or lost documentation.

In the Roman Catholic tradition, a relic is a piece of the body of a saint or holy person, an object or piece of an object owned or used by a saint or holy person, or some other important religious artifact that is maintained for veneration. In Christianity, the first scriptural mention of relics comes from Acts 19:11–12, and concerns Saint Paul’s handkerchiefs, which were said to be imbued with the healing power of God. They were sent to various Christian communities and many accounts of healings were reported. In the early church the graves, tombs and relics of martyrs and holy men and women were venerated. The Martyrdom of St. Polycarp, written, between 150 and 160 A.D., records that St. Polycarp’s relics were objects of veneration by the faithful.

In Rome, early Christians frequently went out to the catacombs on Sundays, spending the day worshiping, praying, eating and recreating near the tombs of holy men and women and family members. When Christianity was legalized in 313 A.D., Christians began building churches, many of which were built over the tombs of martyrs. A perfect example of this is the old Saint Peter’s Basilica in Rome built between 326 and 363 A.D. over the tomb of Saint Peter the Apostle. As the Church grew, demand for the bodies of the saints (martyrs and holy men and women) also grew. By the early Middle Ages it was already a long-established practice to include the body of a saint or a significant relic of a saint in the altar on which mass was celebrated. In 787 A.D. the Second Council of Nicaea decreed that every altar should contain a relic.

A complimentary booklet accompanies this display.


This Exhibit was Featured on the New Liturgical Movement. Click for Story.

 

Gallery Hours

Tuesdays through Sundays, 1 to 4 p.m.
Closed Mondays
Free and open to the public

 

  

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Boniface Wimmer, O.S.B.
Visions of a Founder

On View 


Free and Open to the public



he greatest Catholic missionary of nineteenth-century America," is how the late dean of American Catholic Historians, John Tracy Ellis, described Boniface Wimmer, the founder of Saint Vincent and Benedictine Monasticism in North America. Coming from the Bavarian Abbey of Metten, Wimmer came to America in 1846 to establish the Order of Saint Benedict in the New World, to evangelize the immigrants, and to preserve and strengthen their Catholic faith and identity by providing them with pastoral care and formal education.

Numbers never tell the full story, but it is interesting to note that by 1880, only 34 years after Wimmer and his eighteen companions arrived in Pennsylvania, nearly 900 Benedictine monks and nuns were working and praying in 60 monasteries in the United States. These monastics served 138 parishes where they provided pastoral care for 44,000 souls, operated three major seminaries, six colleges, and 63 elementary schools, and educated an estimated 7,000 students. 

By 1880, Benedictine monks and nuns served in 21 American dioceses and vicariates apostolic (out of a total of 70), located in 20 states and territories of the Union. Most of the Benedictine monks and nuns who carried out this work of pastoral care, evangelization, and education in nineteenth-century America regarded Boniface Wimmer as their founder and their inspiration.

Today, American Benedictines who trace their roots back to Wimmer serve in more than 20 American states, as well as in Canada, Mexico, Puerto Rico, the Bahamas, Colombia, Brazil, Taiwan, and Japan.

To honor the 125th Anniversary of Boniface Wimmer's death (December 2012), the Gallery inaugurated a permanent exhibit made up of personal artifacts from Wimmer's life to honor his legacy and enduring contributions to the Church and monasticism.

A complimentary booklet accompanies this display.

This Exhibit was Featured on the New Liturgical Movement. Click for Story.

 

Gallery Hours

Tuesdays through Sundays, 1 to 4 p.m.
Closed Mondays
Free and open to the public
  

The Saint Vincent Gallery at Saint Vincent College | 300 Fraser Purchase Road | Latrobe, PA 15650-2690
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