Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Abbey of Gethsemani - Founded 1848

The Abbey of Our Landy of Gethsemani is the oldest monastery still in use in the USA. Say what? Don't tell your international friends about this. Many live in homes built before 1848 and their local pubs are at least a century older.

This historic Kentucky landmark is known for its Gethsemani Farm store that offers handmade Trappist cheese, fruitcake and bourbon fudge!

We had an opportunity to participate in the vespers prayer service Saturday with the white robed monks and enjoyed chanting the liturgy with them.

Thomas Merton arrived at Gethsemani in the early 1940's and became famous as an acclaimed author and poet. He died at the early age of 53 and is buried in the monks cemetery. Here is his poem entitled - The Trappist Cemetery

Return them to their souls to learn
The songs and attitudes of glory
Then will creation rise again like gold
Clean, from the furnace of your litanies:
The beasts and trees shall share your resurrection,
And a new world be born from these green tombs.

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