Tag Archives: Blessed Columba Marmion

Blessed Columba Marmion

Colomba MarmionIf you ask monks and priests of an older generation about today’s Blessed, you will likely hear that he was a spiritual master and a man faithful to his vocation and the venerable theological teaching of the Church. You will hear people say that “Marmion is still alive and well and doing great things for people.” And in a certain real sense he is very alive with a new mission given to him by the Trinity. I “met” Dom Columba through friendship with a monk and also at the Illinois monastery named to honor him.

Dom Columba was abbot of Maredsous Abbey in Belgium. Ordained as a diocesan priest of Dublin, he entered the monastic life when he was 30, and by 28 September 1909 his brother monks elected him their abbot–a monastery of more than a 100 monks at the time; he served in that capacity until his death on January 30, 1923.

Marmion authored three books based upon his extensive retreats. These works give a deep insight into his spirituality: Christ, the Life of the Soul (1917), Christ in His Mysteries (1919), and Christ the Ideal of the Monk (1922). His is a spirituality centered on Christ and our divine adoption as children of God. Translations of these works exist in many languages, and many consider them to be spiritual classics.

Saint John Paul II beatified Abbot Columba as a Blessed of the Church on September 3, 2000, and considered him pivotal in his formation. In fact, among the few personal books in his papal library one found the works of Marmion. It was the Holy Father who told one of his aides: “I owe more to Columba Marmion for initiating me into things spiritual than to any other spiritual writer.”

 Franciscan Father Groeschel notes that “Abbot Marmion in some ways was the beginning of a movement that became known, under Popes John Paul II and Benedict XVI, as the ‘New Evangelization.'”

I would like to remember in prayer my monk-friends at Marmion Abbey, Aurora, Illinois.

Blessed Columba Marmion

Today –at least in the Benedictine world– is the liturgical memorial of Blessed Columba Marmion (1858-1923). Dublin born and educated, Joseph Marmion first found his vocation as a secular priest before giving himself as a Benedictine monk at the Abbey of Maredsous in Belgium. In 1909, Dom Columba Marmion was elected of Abbot of Maredsous.

The cause for possible sainthood was opened on 7 February 1957. The Church authorities certified miracle at Marmion’s intercession of a Minnesota woman in 1966. When Blessed John Paul beatified Marmion in 2000, he determined this date, that of his abbatial blessing, rather than on the day of his death, as the day the Church would honor the holy abbot.

Blessed Columba is the author of Christ, the Life of the Soul (1917), Christ in His Mysteries (1919), Christ, the Ideal of the Monk (1922) –all which is a revealing Christology. Blessed Marmion has helped us focus on the Lord and to keep before our eyes our redemption through His merciful love.

Let’s pray for the Benedictine monks, nuns, sisters and oblates, but let’s particularly pray for Abbot John and the monks of Marmion Abbey (Aurora, IL) on their patronal feast.

Pietro Vittorelli, OSB, resigns abbacy of Montecassino

Pietro Vittorelli OSB.jpg

It’s finally been decided: Abbot Pietro Vittorelli has resigned the abbacy and his ministry of Ordinary of Cassino. Pope Francis invoked the Code of Canon Law 401.2 regarding matters of health.

Last year I asked readers of Communio to pray for Abbot Pietro here.

He now needs to pay more attention to his health for his own good, that of the monastic community that he intensely loves but also for the diocesan community.

Until the monastic community of Montecassino can be called together to elect a new abbot, the Prior of Sacro Speco at the Abbey of Saint Scholastica (on Subiaco) and the Director of the Library in the City there, Dom Augusto Ricci will serve as the Apostolic Administrator.

Dom Pietro was born on 30 June 1962, professed of vows in 1991, ordained priest in 1994, elected and confirmed in the abbatial office and Diocesan Ordinary of Montecassino in 2007. The great abbey of Montecassino is a territorial abbey. The stats of the diocese in 2004 state that there were 79,000 souls, with 68 priests (secular and religious) serving in 53 parishes.

From the Italian media.

Through the intercession of Blessed Columba Marmion we pray,

O God, Almighty Father, who, having called the blessed abbot Columba to the priesthood and to the monastic way of life, wonderfully opened to him the secrets of the mysteries of Christ, grant, in Thy goodness, that, strengthened by his teachings in the spirit of our adoption as Thy sons, we may pray to Thee with a boundless confidence, and so obtain, through his intercession, the full restoration to health of Dom Pietro Vittorelli, Abbot of Monte Cassino. We ask this grace for the joy of Thy Church, for the consolation of the community of Monte Cassino, and for the praise of Thy glory, through our Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, who liveth and reigneth with Thee, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God forever and ever. Amen.

Faith in Christ’s Divine Merits

Eucharist Institution.jpgSome friends and I at the parish have been reading a series of Pope Benedict’s homilies on the Eucharist taken from his book, God is Near Us. I recommend paying attention to every page of this small collection of Benedict’s. Reading through some meditations of Blessed Columba Marmion, the famed Benedictine monk and spiritual master struck me. He wrote,

To believe that Jesus is God, is to acknowledge that He has every right over us, it is to surrender ourselves to Him without reserve, to allow Him to act in us as absolute Master.
When we live by this faith, we say to Our Lord: “I love Thee, I adore Thee, I give myself to Thee by my submission to Thine every will, by leaving all that Thou does desire of me; I wish to live in complete dependence on Thee.” Then Christ takes us by the hand and draws us close union with Himself.
Moreover, faith in the Divinity of Jesus produces great confidence in our souls. His merits are those of a God, therefore they are infinite, and they are ours, we may dispose of them. His redeeming blood can blot out all our sins and all our infidelities; we may hope for all the graces of which we have need, for He intercedes for us.
United to His intercession and clad with His merits, let us not fear to draw nigh to the Father and to speak to Him, in the Name of His Son, with unshaken and boundless trust.
Blessed Columba Marmion, OSB
Revue Liturgique et Monastique

About the author

Paul A. Zalonski is from New Haven, CT. He is a member of the Fraternity of Communion and Liberation, a Catholic ecclesial movement, and an Oblate of Saint Benedict. Contact Paul at paulzalonski[at]yahoo.com.
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