Beatifications for Sunday, September 3, 2000
Beatification of Blessed Dom Columba Joseph Marmion
Benedictine Monk was a giant of 20th Century Spirituality - 1858 - 1923
Taken from Zenit News Organization, August 25, 2000 ZE00082501
Dom Columba Marmion could well be
described as a unique guide for the soul seeking Christ. A Benedictine
monk who exercised enormous influence on 20th century spirituality, he
will be beatified by John Paul II on Sunday, September 3, along with
John XXIII, Pius IX, and William Chaminade.
Joseph Marmion was born in Dublin, Ireland in 1858. In 1881, five years
after being ordained a priest in Rome where he studied, he entered the
Benedictine Abbey of Maredsous in Belgium, and assumed the very Irish
name, Columba. He was elected Abbot in 1909, a post he retained until
his death in 1923.
During his time as abbot, his vision of Christian life, profoundly
rooted in union with Christ and devotion to Mary, and the wealth of
Benedictine liturgical tradition, made Maredsous a focal point of
spiritual radiation in Europe.
His missionary spirit extended throughout the Continent and Holy Land,
although he achieved the greatest results, perhaps, in England, when he
became the decisive mediator in propitiating the conversion to
Catholicism of the Anglican Benedictine men's and women's communities of
Caldey and Milford Haven, in southern England.
Moreover, Abbot Marmion was confessor and great friend of Cardinal
Francois Joseph Mercier (1851-1926), another great spiritual leader in
Belgium at the time, and a reference point for the country.
However, Marmion's great influence is due to his works. Perhaps the best
known is "Christ, the Life of the Soul." Together with "Christ in his
Mysteries," it is one of the sources that has slaked the thirst for God
of 20th century men and women. In particular, religious around the world
have made his books authentic guides for their spirit. For them he also
wrote "Christ the Ideal of the Monk."
The Abbey of Maredsous, famous for its beer and cheeses, has been
outstanding this century for its biblical translations. In recent
years, it has built a web information source on the Bible, which can be
viewed at: http://www.cibmaredsous.be/ -