Holy Mother of God, save us"--Byzantine prayer
Our monastery honors the Mother of God with profound reverence and filial affection. She, the Theotokos, mediates for us and leads us to her Son. The presence of the Mother of God in our lives is very real. She is our mother, our friend, our helper, our refuge in time of danger, and consolation in time of affliction. She is our luminous guide when we lie in darkness and in the midst of despair. On our journey toward God's kingdom, her warm presence dispels our sense of loneliness. She gives us the strength and courage needed for the journey. We walk, but never alone, for the Mother of God is always with us.
Monastery Christmas Festival Fair: An Annual Tradition
The Monastery Christmas Festival Fair will be helled on the weekends of November 25th and 26th and December 2nd and 3rd (first Sunday of Advent), from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on the premises of Our Lady of the Resurrection Monastery, off Rt. 82, 5 miles south of Millbrook, NY.
The organic-artisanal vinegars based on an ancient medieval monastic recipe are crafted from different types of wines and spices, as well as pure local apple cider. These monastery vinegars, depicted in The New York Times, Food Arts, and other local publications, are the only ones produced in the Hudson Valley following this ancient method. Well-known restaurants as well as some gourmet food shops occasionally make these vinegars available to their customers, especially in New York State and New England. Requests for the vinegars arrive from as far as Texas, California, Virgina, and other states. Our present varieties include Red Wine Vinegar, White Wine Vinegar, Rosé Wine Vinegar, Sherry Wine Vinegar, Apricot-scented Vinegar, Raspberry Vinegar, Pure Apple Cider Vinegar, Honey Apple Cider Vinegar, and Beer Vinegar. The monastery produces these vinegars in limited quantities and allows them to age slowly, until the fermentation process is completed. The final results are vinegars of an exceptional, delicate, and superb quality. During the fair there will be an opportunity for tasting and sampling the different vinegars, as well as an explanation of their traditional making and long-time fermentation process.
At the fair, there will also be available other food products from the monastery farm, gardens, and kitchen: tapenade (in true Provençal style and tradition, unique to this monastery and limited in quantity), homemade pesto sauce, dulce de leche, tomato sauces, salsas, soups, jams from the Trappist monks, apple sauce, apple butter, relishes, and dried culinary herbs from the monastery garden.
Other items available:
Crèches from all over the world, depicting in their own simple and humble way the great mystery of the Incarnation. These beautiful crèches are unique and will really enhance a home at Christmas time. Christmas cards, monastery postcards, and beautiful watercolor paintings by local artists and Vassar students. Also other artistic designs made right here on the monastery premises. They make beautiful and authentic Christmas gifts.
Directions to the Monastery:
Southbound from Millbrook: Take Rt. 82 south for 5 miles, turn left onto Barmore Rd, and continue until you see sign for monastery on your right.
Northbound from Rt. 55: Take Rt. 82 north for 2 miles, make right onto Barmore Rd, and continue until you see the monastery sign on your right.
We recently contributed a recipe to the blog of the Sisters of the Community of Jesus, "Recipes from a Monastery Kitchen." The recipe is inspired by the Transitus of Saint Benedict on March 21. You can read the post by clicking here.
A Monastic Obituary
“Certa Fides” (“Strong in the faith,” abbatiale motto)
Reverendissime Mère Aguilberte Paule de Suremain
Early on January 7, 2017, while still illuminated by the Epiphany light and the joy of singing its praises, Mère Aguilberte Paule de Suremain gave her last breath, thus falling asleep lovingly into the hands of God, her Savior, in the monastery of St. Pierre de Faremoutiers in the proximity of Jouarre. She was 97 years old.
Mère Aguilberte, of happy memory, belongs among those so recognized as a “great figure of a real nun” (“grande figure de moniale”). She was abbess of the famous Jouarre Abbey from 1964 to 1974, and also abbess president (head of the Monastic Federation of Moniales of the Immaculate Heart of Mary), one of the oldest monastic federations in France.
She was born in Burgundy, belonging to an old noble family related to the family of Charles de Foucauld. She shared many of the family photos with me, Br. Victor-Antoine, in 1969, and was always from the very beginnings a strong supporter of Our Lady of the Resurrection Monastery. Our monastic ties to her and to the whole of Jouarre have always been very fraternal and very strong. We owe her a lot, for all her fraternal support and otherwise. I treasure the long correspondence and her prayers that united us to her and all of Jouarre for so many long years.
As a good and faithful daughter of St. Benedict, Mère Aguilberte was very wise in blending into her life the ora et labora ideal of St. Benedict. She was very strong in her inner prayer and lectio divina life as she was to her labora side, combining her dedication to the work of the monastic land: gardens, trees, and the small animal farm of sheep, chickens, and monastery pets. She led wisely her community during the difficult period after the Vatican Council, remaining faithful to its right interpretation and practice. She thus affected many other monasteries, including those founded in Africa and other mission countries.
She was buried in the Jouarre cemetery on Thursday, January 12, 2017, at 2:00 p.m. We are grateful to Sr. Christophe, present abbess, for sharing all details of Mère Aguilberte’s last days and her affection for us here. She is now in the peace of God whom she loved and served.
Let us pray for the eternal repose of her soul.
A New Year’s Prayer to the Eternal Father
(A suggested prayer for 2017)
the origin and fountain-source of the Godhead,
You, once, seeing the chaos and disarray reigning in the world,
in your compassion for our world and love for mankind
sent down your all-holy Spirit
to irrigate the world for the sake of Your creation,
so that it could easily grow and multiply,
and, later, at seeing the human condition ruined by sin,
and in your all-surpassing love for mankind,
sent the same all-holy and divine Spirit
to operate the marvel of your own Son’s divine incarnation
in the bosom of a humble virgin, Mary, so that He, the Lord Jesus Christ,
Your son, could become the Lord and Savior
of a world immersed in darkness and sin.
Once again, we, your children,
find ourselves immersed in a deep, black darkness,
without doubt the work of the evil one, Your enemy,
who rejoices in seeding darkness, discord, and confusion
among your redeemed children.
Now, once again a deep darkness has set in our midst
as a political result to a deep condition of confusion.
Once again, we, your children, are in deep need
of the saving divine energies from the Holy Spirit
to descend upon us to enlighten a world in disarray and confusion
as a result of our latest political events
and to guide us anew into the ways of righteousness.
We plead You, Eternal Father,
send upon us your all-holy and consoling Holy Spirit
that He may truly renew the face of the earth.
We ask You this in Jesus’s name, Your eternal Son
and the lover of mankind, our Lord and savior,
and through the intercession of Mary’s immaculate heart
and the prayers of Saint Joseph,
whose protection we particularly entreat during this new year,
especially consecrated and placed under his holy protection
as You suggested to us
through Jesus, our Lord and savior.
Come Holy Spirit, and renew the face of the earth.
(repeat 100 times)
Holy Mother of God, save us.
(repeat 100 times)
Holy Joseph, carpenter of Nazareth,
grant that we may always rejoice under your protection.
(repeat 100 times)
Holy God, holy mighty one,
holy immortal one, have mercy on us.
(repeat 100 times)
Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy on me and the whole world.
(repeat 100 times)
Forgive your children, Father,
who, mistakenly misled by the evil one,
the father of all lies, were led in error to choose future leaders,
and now lie in peril and the gloom of darkness
as a consequence of their bad decisions.
You alone, in your mercy, can rectify their mistakes.
In your wisdom, correct our errors.
Show us once more, through the power of your all-holy Spirit,
the redeeming power of your abundant goodness and mercy,
and come quickly to our help, before we perish in the doom of gloom.
We beseech you also through the intercession of your three archangels,
Michael, Raphael, and Gabriel:
May they protect us from the snares of the evil one
and lead us in the ways of true gospel living,
making thus of each of us a true disciple of your Son, the Lord Jesus Christ,
through the prayers of the Lord and Savior
and the intercession of Mary’s immaculate heart
and the prayers of Saint Joseph.